UN’s Open Day Event Puts Women in the Center of Peace and Security Agenda in Palestine

Date: Thursday, September 28, 2017

Open-Day-1Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process, is commending the resilience of Palestinian women at the Open Day Event in Ramallah (Photo: UN Women/Eunjin Jeong) 

Ramallah, Palestine – Open Day, a major United Nations event to strengthen the national implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in Palestine, took place on 27 September in Ramallah, bringing together leading women’s civil society organizations in Gaza and the West Bank, heads of UN agencies, politicians, development partners, and key decision-makers from the Government.

The event, organized by UN Women Palestine Office in support of the European Union, aimed to identify progresses related to the results of the previous Open Day in 2016 and set a clear direction in achieving Palestinian women’s priority areas of the National Action Plans (NAPs) for the UNSCR 1325 until the end of 2018. 

“UNSCR 1325 is a landmark international agreement that recognized women’s significant contribution to peace and security for the first time,” said Ms. Ulziisuren Jamsran, Special Representative at UN Women Palestine, explaining the rationale behind organizing the Open Day annually to promote the local ownership of the resolution. 

“This year’s Open Day will not only revisit the recommendations of last year’s Open Day event but also engage all stakeholders to propose effective and actionable solutions to further enhance Palestinian women’s participation in peace and security agenda in the upcoming years,” she added.  

Participants from the civil society organizations welcomed the Open Day saying that the event provides a space for Palestinian women to share their situations and needs with senior UN representation, European Union, and key decision makers to reflect during decision making process. 

“The long-standing national gender equality struggle proves Palestinian women’s resilience and tenacity. However, it is the responsibility of local, regional, and global actors to enforce and engage in a system of accountability to end occupation and protect Palestinian people," said Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

The four-hour event generated sets of strategic questions to facilitate women’s participation in Peace and Security in Palestine as well as innovative ideas for joint advocacy interventions and lobbying solutions between the UN and Civil Society Organizations. It also raised awareness of the UN, key decision makers, and donors about the gendered impact of the Israeli occupation, while specifically highlighting its effects on various issues involving women, such as political and economic participation, education and health, and protection and security especially for most marginalized women and girls.  

“For generations Palestinian women have been paying the highest price for the lack of peace and security. In Gaza, where people live under the control of Hamas and struggle with the Israeli closures, the situation of women has deteriorated substantially,” said Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process, emphasizing the need for a collective responsibility to speak up and uphold rights of Palestinian women.

“I commend the incredible resilience of Palestinian women to deal with the hardships of occupation,” he added concluding his remarks. 

Open-Day-2The Open Day event brought together women’s organizations, UN agencies, politicians, development partners, and key decision-makers to facilitate women’s participation in Peace and Security and raise awareness about the gendered impact of the Israeli occupation. (Photo: UN Women/Eunjin Jeong)

The Open Day event in Palestine has been supported by the European Union since 2015, as part of its three-year programme “Enhancing the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the occupied Palestinian territory,” implemented by the UN Women Palestine in collaboration with the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW), Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA).