International Women’s Day 2024: Wreaking havoc on women’s fundamental rights in Palestine 

On January 26th, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered a landmark ruling stressing the urgency of preventing further human rights abuses in Gaza. The magnitude of the casualties has been staggering since October 7th: over 30,000 Palestinians lost their lives and 1.9 million individuals were displaced, with nearly one million of them being women and girls seeking refuge and safety. 

On this International Women’s Day, EuroMed Rights deplores the disproportionally enormous impact of the war on women and children. 

We unequivocally condemn the numerous allegations of rape, abduction, torture and other cruel and inhuman punishments revealed by the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women in her report dated 19 February 2024. We call for an international and independent investigation on this matter. 

Arbitrary arrests have also been carried out against women and children, without any respect for the right to a defence and the principles of a fair trial. Case in point is the Palestinian parliamentarian, Khalida Jarrar. We demand her immediate release. 

EuroMed Rights has observed a worrying increase in the suspension of funds faced by women rights organizations from institutional donors present across the Euro-Mediterranean region. These unfounded unilateral decisions are often the direct consequences of public expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and have dangerous implications not only on the survival of civil society organizations, but also on the lives and basic rights of the women and girls they serve across the region. We call for the renewal and increase of these funds, which allow the survival of Palestinian women, children and men. 

Finally, we call for an end to all attacks on freedom of association, an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Palestine, access for humanitarian aid and journalists to Gaza, and the respect and enforcement of international humanitarian law; in particular, UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 et seq. and the Geneva Convention, which provide special protection for women and children during conflicts. Military aid and arms exports to Israel, the transfer of weapons and military technology to and from Israel, and all forms of military aid and research cooperation must end.  

The signatories join UN Women’s call to a “return to a path of peace, a respect for international humanitarian and international human rights law”. We call on the UN Secretary-General to ensure compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the Geneva Conventions and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, and to hold the Member States responsible for the ongoing plausible acts of genocide against the Palestinian people, which is currently before the ICJ. 

List of signatories: 

  • 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World – Ireland 
  • ADALA – Maroc 
  • Association Démocratiques des Femmes du Maroc 
  • Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates 
  • Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA) 
  • Egyptian Human Rights Forum 
  • EuroMed Rights 
  • Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation – Sweden
  • Lebanese Center for Human Rights 
  • Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l’Homme 
  • Ligue des Droits de l’Homme – France 
  • Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies 
  • Organisation Marocaine des Droits de l’Homme 
  • SUDS – Spain 
  • Women for Women’s Human Rights – Turkey 
  • Association Tharwa N’Fadhma N’Soumeur