Peace, security and humanitarian response

Open Day in Gaza in 2010 (photo: UN Women)

The protracted crisis and a worsening humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory have had devastating consequences on the Palestinian population as a whole, with differentiated impact on men, women, boys and girls. Shaped by different gender roles and responsibilities, Palestinian women’s experience of conflict and crisis differs from that of men. As care-givers responsible for attending to the needs of different members of their family, or subject to gender-specific restrictions that amplify challenges and create additional burdens in time of emergency, Palestinian women’s perceptions and priorities are central in identifying key interventions for alleviating the situation. However, all too often, Palestinian women’s needs have been overlooked and they have not been consulted in shaping the political and/or humanitarian response.

On the political front, Palestinian women’s exclusion or under-representation has characterized ongoing peace and security discussions. Though women have been at the forefront in the Palestinian liberation movement and the demand for rights and statehood, very few have been represented in peace talks and in internal reconciliation committees. All in all, little space has been made to integrate Palestinian women’s experiences, concerns and priorities into political processes, including in key processes for achieving Palestinian statehood.

Our Approach

Guided by commitments to women’s rights, notably UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and subsequent supporting resolutions, UN Women acts to bring gender equality dimensions into humanitarian programming, response and assistance, as well as to increase women’s involvement in peace and state-building processes. To ensure that gender equality commitments and dimensions are adopted and implemented in humanitarian programming, response and assistance, as well as in humanitarian structures, UN Women works within the UN system and the humanitarian coordination structure to support/provide gender expertise. In addition, UN Women works with civil society organizations to enhance their capacities and opportunities to engage in the humanitarian programme cycle.

To foster women’s participation and leadership in conflict resolution and state-building processes, UN Women supports the engagement of Palestinian women’s groups and activists. Driven by the demands of the Palestinian women’s movement, UN Women focuses on the activation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, as an accountability mechanism for the protection of women’s human rights and a tool to further Palestinian women’s engagement with decision-makers as to increase their influence locally and internationally.