The YWCA of Palestine International Women’s Day Statement 2023
International Women’s Day is a day
to champion women and highlight their achievements. This year's theme for IWD
equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” and a day to assess the
world’s progress on women’s rights. The YWCA is a continuous advocate in the
fight for women’s rights internationally as well as locally in Palestine.
Women in Palestine face political,
legal, social and economic restrictions despite the fact that the State of
Palestine has joined several international conventions and treaties pertaining
to women’s rights. This includes the ratification of the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) without any
reservation to any of its articles. The Palestinian government has yet to
implement its legislation to the international standards in any meaningful way
and women suffer the consequences. Women in the West Bank and Gaza not only
suffer from high unemployment rates, and a gap in daily wages, but they are
also excluded from participation on all levels of decision-making starting from
their own households and up to the political arena. As an example, women only
hold 3 out of 24 ministerial positions in the current Palestinian cabinet.
Further, Palestinian women only account for 15% of judges, 19.5% of prosecutors
and 32.5% of lawyers. This is even as more women in Palestine are getting an
education, even having higher degrees than Palestinian men. Women getting
higher levels of education is a win for Women’s equality which should be
celebrated, and should translate into jobs and politics. For a sustainable
future, we need to engage Palestinian women at all levels of society.
To work towards a sustainable
future, where we embrace equality in Palestinian society, the YWCA of Palestine
calls on the international community to take measures to hold Israel
accountable for its human rights violations and to end the occupation. As the
Israeli occupation is an all encompassing issue to further development in
Palestine including within the space of Women’s rights. We also hold the
Palestinian government accountable for women’s suffering and call on them to
abide by their international obligations and undertake actions required for
compliance with CEDAW and all other international conventions pertaining to
women’s rights that they have endorsed.
This international Women’s Day, we
continue the fight for women in Palestine through our projects and continued
support of gender-equality measures in the state of Palestine. We celebrate our
successes and victories related to bettering women’s access to education,
financial empowerment as well as participation in politics, however we
acknowledge there is still a way to go. We strongly believe that
gender-equality cannot be achieved until all women in the world have access to
equal basic rights. If the aim is for a sustainable tomorrow with gender
equality as a cornerstone, the international community has an obligation to put
efforts into making this world a better place for all. It is our collective
responsibility globally to support each other as women and women’s
organizations to build a world where safety and peace have a chance!
International Women’s Day to all women in Palestine and around the world!