PCHR Publishes Report on the Gender-Specific Implications and Consequences of Operation Pillar of Defense

Gaza Strip, Israel / OPT, Press Release, Women’s rights and gender justice

On 26 November 2013, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) published the second report of its kind; entitled “Through Women’s Eyes”.  This report focuses the gender-specific implications and consequences of ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’  It was published in English and will be translated and published into Arabic in the coming weeks.

As a result of the Israeli offensive, 14 women were killed and at least 92 others were wounded. Although the number of killings and injuries illustrates the serious humanitarian dimension of this conflict, the true extent of the suffering lies in the daily life in the Gaza Strip following ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’ Civilians struggle to rebuild their lives, cope with their loss and restore some semblance of human dignity.

PCHR has issued this report in order to highlight the gender-specific impacts of ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’  Due to the patriarchal nature of Palestinian society, women in the Gaza Strip – victims of ‘peacetime’ discrimination – are particularly susceptible to the marginalization, poverty, and suffering brought by the occupation and armed conflict.  Israeli attacks often result in ignored gender-specific consequences despite their seriousness.  PCHR has chosen to allow these consequences and the reality of life after the offensive to be unfolded through the victims’ words.   Although this report is not prepared from the perspective of the international law, it is suitable to express human rights and human suffering through human stories.

This report addresses the cases of 12 women affected by Israeli attacks over the course of ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’ These examples are intended to demonstrate the extent of civilians’ suffering in the Gaza Strip and the continuing difficulties they face due to the devastation caused by the Israeli forces and the ongoing illegal closure.

“Through Women’s Eyes” highlights the difficulties facing women in the Gaza Strip while attempting to live with their grief, injuries and the loss of their children, husbands, relatives, homes, and livelihoods. These narratives are expressive not only the tribulations faced by women in the Gaza Strip, but also of the resilience and strength they have shown over 42 years of conflict and occupation.

It should be mentioned that PCHR’s first “Through Women’s Eyes” report was released on 28 September 2009.  It addressed the gender-specific impacts and consequences of ‘Operation Cast Lead,’ during which 118 women were killed and 825 others were wounded.

The full report is available online at: http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/2013/PCHR-throggh%20womesns%20eyes%202.pdf