(CTN News) – Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed roughly 70 percent of women and children, including two mothers per hour over the past 100 days, according to a new UN Women report.
Gazan health authorities report that the conflict has killed more than 23,000 Palestinians, including 16,000 women and children.
As women and children are the first victims of conflict, our duty to seek peace is a duty to them. A statement by UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous stated, “We are failing them.”.
“This failure, along with the generational trauma inflicted on the Palestinian people over these 100 days, will haunt us all for generations,” she warned.
During the Hamas-led attacks on Israel on October 7 that sparked the conflict, UN Women also expressed deep concern about reports of unconscionable violence and other gender-based violence.
All hostages should be immediately and unconditionally released, and accountability, justice, and support should be provided to all those affected.
Gaza conflict is a “protection crisis for women” at a time when no place in the enclave is safe for them.
Close to a million of the 1.9 million people now displaced are women and girls, and the “impossible decisions” they face regarding evacuation – when and how, as well as where to go – “are rooted in gender-differentiated fears and experiences”, given the risk of attacks and harassment while on the move.
According to UN Women, at Gaza least 3,000 women may have become widows and heads of households, and at least 10,000 children may be fatherless. The result is that more women fear that their families will resort to desperate coping mechanisms such as early marriage as a result.
Despite the crisis, women’s rights organizations continue to operate. According to UN Women’s rapid survey conducted in November, 83% of women-led organizations and one youth-led group were at least partially operational, focusing mainly on emergency relief.
Women’s groups, however, have received less than one percent of the funding under the 2023 Flash Appeal for Gaza.
As part of UN Women’s six-month Gaza response plan, the report provides food assistance to over 14,000 female-headed households and supports the distribution of clothing, sanitary products, and baby formula requested by women on the ground.