PLO Executive Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi welcomed the United Nations Economic and Social Councilâ€™s (ECOSOC) adoption of a draft resolution entitled, â€śSituation of and assistance to Palestinian women,â€ť which was recommended by the Commission on the Status of Women in its sixty-first session in March:
â€śOn behalf of the Palestinian leadership and the people of Palestine, we extend our deep gratitude to the members of the ECOSOC for overwhelmingly voting in favor of a draft resolution on Palestinian women on June 7 which affirms that ‘the Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society.'”
Ashrawi added, according to the PNN :â€ťIt also demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with international law and conventions â€śto protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families,â€ť and it calls upon â€śIsrael to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties.â€ť
In addition, the Resolution urges the international community â€śto intensify its measures to improve the difficult conditions being faced by Palestinian women and their families living under Israeli occupation,â€ť she said.
“We also pay tribute to the Commission on the Status of Women, international womenâ€™s groups and bodies and womenâ€™s and human rights organizations and civil society institutions in Palestine for tirelessly working to promote the empowerment of Palestinian women and girls and for keeping the struggle of women for their own rights within Palestinian society and beyond at the forefront of their local and international agendas.â€ť
Dr. Ashrawi called for â€śthe rejuvenation and revitalization of the Palestinian political system to support equal participation in decision-making at all levels and to include more women in the local and national government.â€ť
She also stressed, â€śWomen should not be deprived of their right to self-determination and dignity, and laws and legislation should be enacted and implemented that do justice to women.â€ť
In addition, Dr. Ashrawi condemned the United Statesâ€™ and Australiaâ€™s decision to vote against the resolution: â€śBy voting against this resolution, the U.S. and Australia are voting against Palestinian women. It is hypocritical that even though both countries claim to champion human rights and womenâ€™s rights for all, they fail to safeguard the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people.
“Rather than encouraging Israeli impunity, the U.S. and Australia should hold Israel accountable for its persistent violations of international law and conventions, including the UN Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000).â€ť
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.