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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.
Articles, statements and press releases
Of the 216 projects in the 2015 Strategic Response Plan (SRP), only eight projects specify gender equality as a principal purpose of the project (i.e. having a 2b Gender Marker Code). The total requested budget for those eight projects is US$ 2,417,335 - representing 0.34 per cent of the total requested budget. Seven of the eight projects focus on Gaza and one project focuses on Area C of the West Bank. Five projects focus on Gender Based Violence (GBV) interventions; two projects focus on food security and livelihood needs related to women with disabilities and rural women; and one project is related to coordination.
The situation of the approximately 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a result of the July-August hostilities remains precarious and uncertain. Approximately 8,800 of them currently reside in 14 UNRWA Collective Centres, 1,700 in prefabricated housing units, and the rest in rented accommodation, with host families or in makeshift shelters in the rubble of their damaged or destroyed homes.
Nearly 425,000 children in Gaza are in need of immediate psychosocial and child protection support following this summer’s military operation. These include at least 3,373 children injured over the course of hostilities, some of whom will suffer permanent disabilities, more than 1,500 children who were orphaned, and hundreds of thousands who had their homes damaged or had to flee the fighting and move elsewhere, including tens of thousands still displaced. All of them need urgent support from the child protection and broader welfare sectors to regain a sense of normalcy and to deal with acute levels of psychosocial distress and vulnerability at a time when several neighbourhoods and villages of the Gaza Strip still lie in ruins.
The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Robert Serry, and members of the UN country team working in the occupied Palestinian territory, met with Ms Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who was in the region to promote efforts to include women’s voices and perspectives in efforts to build sustainable peace in the Middle East.
Today, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, 11 UN agencies operating in the occupied Palestinian territory have put their voices together in a call to action for the protection of Palestinian women from the political, economic and social insecurity that threatens their wellbeing.