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PLO applauds UN's adoption of draft resolution on Palestinian women

June 10, 2017 4:06 P.M. (Updated: June 12, 2017 6:05 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi applauded the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Saturday for adopting the draft resolution “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women.”

“On 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 the draft resolution,” Ashrawi said in the statement, and called for “the 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,” in line with the resolution.

The draft resolution had initially been adopted by the the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March, leading to the commission to recommend the draft to ECOSOC, which officially adopted it on Wednesday.

“Women 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” Ashrawi said.

She also noted her support for the UN and civil society in Palestine and their efforts 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.”

Ashrawi slammed the United States and Australia, the only two countries who voted against the resolution, saying that they were “voting against Palestinian women.”

“It is hypocritical that even though both countries claim to champion human rights and women’s rights for all, they fail to safeguard the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people.”

Ashrawi said that the US and Australia should instead work on holding Israel accountable for its consistent violations of international law.

The text of the resolution expressed “deep concern” over the “ongoing illegal Israeli occupation and all of its manifestations,” specifically outlining the effects Israel’s illegal settlement construction, continued home demolitions, and imprisonment has had on Palestinian women.

The UN also cited the high rates of poverty in the Palestinian territory, along with “unemployment, food insecurity, inadequate water supply and unsafe drinking water, shortages of electricity and fuel, incidents of domestic violence and declining health, education and living standards, including the rising incidence of trauma and the decline in psychological well-being,” as having an increasingly adverse effect on the women, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The resolution also noted the UN’s “grave concern” over “all acts of violence, intimidation and provocation by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians,” while highlighting the “excessive and indiscriminate use of force by Israeli occupying forces” that has caused the deaths of scores of Palestinian civilians, including women and girls.

The situation in the Gaza Strip was underscored in the resolution, particularly the effects following Israel’s 2014 military offensive that left thousands of Palestinian civilians killed, including women and children, and the devastating toll it has taken on the coastal enclave’s basic infrastructure.

The UN encouraged the international community to “ensure accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in order to end impunity, ensure justice, deter further violations, protect civilians and promote peace,” and to continue providing urgent assistance to Palestinians suffering from a nearly half century Israeli military occupation and a decade-long Israeli siege.
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