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In the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), as elsewhere, women, men, boys and girls may have different humanitarian needs and vulnerabilities based on their gender. Israel’s policies in the oPt restrict and affect these groups in different ways, and gender roles and relations in Palestinian society determine varying levels of access to resources and opportunities. Relevant factors that determine the different impacts of occupation include types of human rights violations, livelihood-related vulnerabilities, gender-based division of labour, discriminatory norms and possible gender bias in the design of humanitarian assistance. Additionally, the intra-Palestinian divide and the limited authority exercised by the State of Palestine in Gaza, Area C and East Jerusalem compound gaps in legal protection for women. The humanitarian community in the oPt collects sex-disaggregated data in order to refine the identification of needs, address gender-based vulnerabilities and ensure an equitable and effective humanitarian response.
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Rana, a 14 -year-old girl from Khan Younis, had to spend three weeks in quarantine at home, after being in contact with a relative who tested positive for COVID-19. She spent this period with her father and siblings, while her mother was outside the country. "I was very afraid of what might happen to us and wasn’t able to do my homework or anything else,” said Rana.
Maha (pseudonym) a 40-year-old mother of three, reside in Al-Bureij, one of the poorest and most crowded refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip. Nearly four in ten women in the Gaza Strip face domestic violence, mostly by their partners. Maha is one of them.
According to Ministry of Health (MoH) records, as of 26 April 2020, there were 221 male Palestinians (64.6 per cent) and 121 female Palestinians (35.4 per cent) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (excluding East Jerusalem) with COVID-19. Seventeen per cent of those who tested positive were children – boys and girls under 18; 63 per cent between the ages of 18 and 50; and 20 per cent were older than 50 years of age. According to MoH in Gaza, as of 25 April 2020, out of a total of 1,971 people who are staying at quarantine facilities in Gaza, 57.2 per cent (1,123) are males and 42.8 per cent (848) are females
Mohammed, 35 and father of three, from Beit Hanoun, was shot with a live bullet in the leg during the first “Great March of Return” (GMR) demonstration on 30 March 2018. “I went through 25 surgeries, but I’m still in pain,” he told OCHA. As a result of his disability, Mohammed lost his job as a construction worker and the economic situation of his family began to deteriorate. “My wife couldn’t bear with my situation and with the poverty, so we got divorced. My life is nothing, but a misery.”
For Sahar Al Nabaheen, the lack of access to regular, high-quality family planning information and services has all but defined her life. At 31, she lives with her husband and their six children in Al Bureij Camp, Middle Area Gaza. Three of Sahar’s pregnancies were unplanned due to a lack of available contraceptives. With her and her husband unable to find work, her family of eight are living on no income.
Today, aid workers and their donor and diplomatic colleagues gathered in Gaza city to mark World Humanitarian Day (WHD). This year, WHD is dedicated to honouring women humanitarian workers.