Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on Gaza
(New York) UN Women is deeply concerned by the escalation of violence in the crisis relating to Gaza. It has taken a catastrophic toll on tens of thousands of civilians, many of whom are women and children. UN Women joins the United Nations Secretary-General and Security Council in calling for an immediate ceasefire, respect for international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians.
Women and children on both sides bear the brunt of this tragedy and its devastating consequences. UN Women is alarmed by the high number of Palestinian women and children who have lost their lives or have been injured in the current crisis. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), of the some 3,000 Palestinians reported injured, 904 are children and 533 are women.
The current crisis takes place against the backdrop of an already dire socioeconomic and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and will have a long-lasting impact on the most vulnerable of the Palestinian population, including women, children and the elderly. So far, over 110,000 Palestinians are displaced, the majority of whom are taking shelter in United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) schools. With severely restricted access to water, food and medicine, their needs are urgent.
UN Women calls on all sides to immediately halt the violence and allow full humanitarian access. UN Women also calls on the international community to take action to meet the urgent and immense humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza and fulfil the emergency flash appeal launched by UNRWA. While responding to the immediate crisis is vital for saving lives, a political solution is imperative to allow for long-term peace and development that benefits all, regardless of race, age or gender.
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.