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Human rights, Palestinian women and Israel


Universal Periodic Review, Israel, women in Palestine, WILPF, reportPalestinian women ‘regularly face violence and discrimination as a result of Israeli policies’.

A Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a State-driven process under the Human Rights Council which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States.

It contributes to improving the human rights situation and addressing human rights violations in all countries.

And it is through submitting Universal Periodic Review reports that the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and partners are able to bring gender analysis of peace and security to these discussions and debates and increase women and civil society’s access to these processes.

For the Universal Periodic Review to be effective, it is essential for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to bring to its attention local situations of human rights violations and monitor the positions taken by the Member States.

Which is why a report with the title “Palestinian Women Under Prolonged Israeli Occupation: The Gendered Impact of Occupation Violence” has been submitted to the Universal Periodic Review Working Group’s 29th session, due to take place in January 2018.

The report is the product of collective work by the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC), the Community Action Center (CAC) – Al-Quds University, The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), and WILPF and is to assist the process of the UPR on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 2017.

In January 2009, Israel’s UPR resulted in 424 recommendations by contributing countries.

Only 13 per cent of those recommendations were accepted by Israel, but not one included recommendations specific to Palestinian rights.

Based on the previous UPR, Israel has made some progress.

However, fieldwork and research by Palestinian human rights organisations proves that little improvement has been made in incorporating this progress to Palestinians.

According to the report, Palestinian women regularly face violence, threats, intimidation, restriction of movement, and discrimination as a result of Israeli policies that violate international humanitarian and human rights law.

And the report highlights those human rights violations by the State of Israel on Palestinian women.

It focuses on property destruction, demolition, and the lack of adequate housing; aggression and targeting of civilians; expansion of settlements and settler violence; forcible eviction of Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem, and collective punishment as a tool in forcible transfer; and targeting women human rights defenders, women journalists and activists.

This report also contains a set of recommendations which aim to contribute to the effective realisation of adherence to human rights and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to stop any of Israel’s illegal practices that impact the lives of Palestinian women.

To read the report, click here.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is an international NGO established in 1915 which now has National Sections covering every continent, an International Secretariat based in Geneva, and a New York office focused on the work of the United Nations.

WILPF was one of the first organisations to gain consultative status (category B) with the United Nations, and is the only women’s anti-war organisation so recognised.

And since 1915, WILPF has brought together women from around the world who are united in working for peace by non-violent means and promoting political, economic and social justice for all.

WILPF’s approach is always non-violent, and uses existing international legal and political frameworks to achieve fundamental change in the way states conceptualise and address issues of gender, militarism, peace and security.

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