International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the progress made on women’s rights, celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and to call for an end to gender inequality. In this context, the General Delegation of the State of Palestine to Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific would like to recognise and congratulate all women and girls everywhere, particularly Palestinian women.
Globally, the fight for women’s equality is ongoing. Palestinian women are in a unique situation of struggling for gender equality and resisting the Israeli occupation simultaneously. Israel’s colonial occupation threaten the rights to life and safety of all Palestinians, including women and girls, with illegal policies such as home demolitions, land confiscation, forced displacement, harassment, settler terrorism, extrajudicial killings and assault of civilians, and arbitrary arrest and detention (Israeli occupation forces have unlawfully killed 65 women, including 22 girls, and injured 534 women, including 315 girls, since the beginning of 2021, and currently 32 women are being held in Israeli detention centres with no legal basis). Israel’s restriction of movement for Palestinians prevents women from access vital health services and employment opportunities, hindering their equal participation in public life.
Palestinian women should be honoured for their unique steadfastness, and for their significant contributions towards gender equality and the national struggle for the self-determination of the Palestinian people. These struggles are connected; women’s liberation is a necessary prerequisite for democratic transition, and directly aligns with the Palestinian Declaration of Independence which calls for governance, “based on principles of social justice, equality and non-discrimination in public rights on grounds of race, religion, color or sex.”
Happy International Women’s Day.
For more information, please contact the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific: ph. (02) 6286 9193.