Celebrating Feminists’ Voices, Inspiring Global Peace

Report Release: “Palestinian Women Under Prolonged Israeli Occupation: The Gendered Impact of Occupation Violence”

1 November 2017

You can find the Arabic version of this blog here

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has always thrived to amplify women’s voices and bring their experiences to human rights bodies and the international fora.

​The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a State-driven process under the Human Rights Council (HRC) 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. Through submitting UPR reports, WILPF along with partners serve to bring gender analysis of peace and security to these discussions and debates and increase women and civil society access to these processes.

For the UPR 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. Hence, a report tilted “Palestinian Women Under Prolonged Israeli Occupation: The Gendered Impact of Occupation Violence” Has been submitted to the UPR Working Group 29th session to take place in January 2018. The report is the product of collective work of Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC), Community Action Center (CAC) – Al-Quds University, and The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), and WILPF to assist the process of the UPR on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 2017.

In January 2009, the Israel’s UPR resulted in 424 recommendations by contributing countries. Only 13% of those recommendations were accepted by Israel but none 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 on movement, and discrimination as a result of Israeli polices that violate international humanitarian and human rights law. 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 contains a set of recommendations which aim at contributing to the effective realization of adherence to human rights and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to stop the Israeli illegal practices that impact the lives of Palestinian women.

WILPF stands in full solidarity with the Palestinian women and supports their legitimate demands for dignity and human rights. Until resolved, WILPF will continue to bring this issue to the attention of the international community.

 

 

 

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Melissa Torres

VICE-PRESIDENT

Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani

VICE-PRESIDENT

Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo

PRESIDENT

Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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Demilitarisation

WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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