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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS

Commission on Human Rights
MORNING
HR/CN/05/36
7 April 2005

SECRETARY-GENERAL ELABORATES ON REFORM
OF HUMAN RIGHTS STRUCTURES IN ADDRESS
TO COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Commission Continues its Consideration of Integration
of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective


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General Debate on the Integration of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective


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SOUHEILA ABBAS (Syria) noted that women suffered disproportionately from poverty and hunger as they constituted the most marginalized and excluded of groups. Thus, before one could speak of gender equality, was it not necessary to ensure that women achieved security and stability, particularly in situations of armed conflict and occupation? For example, how could one speak of the women of the occupied Palestinian territories or occupied Iraq as contributing to building a society when they faced murder and oppression daily? Did contributing to nation building now mean carrying the bodies of their dead children, or giving birth while waiting at an Israeli checkpoint, or while sitting in detention? The women of Syria sought, first and foremost, the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace in the occupied Palestinian territories, and the end of the military occupation of Iraq.

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LEENA AL-HADID (Jordan) ...

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... Undeniably, the violence against women was an impediment to social, economic and political security in both Palestinian and Israeli society. Real peace and human rights could only be achieved when women were fully respected, empowered, and duly given the dignity they deserved by all Governments and civil society actors concerned.


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RAMA ENAV, of Women's International Zionist Organization, said her organization sought to promote peace by empowering women and giving them a voice. Before the onset of the current intifadah, there had been many projects encouraging cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian women and youth. Unfortunately, since October 2000, these projects had been limited to Arabs and Jews from Israel only. As a result of the violence, stress had increased for women on both sides of the conflict who shared the burden of fear and bereavement. The latest developments in the political arena had led to hope that cooperation between women on each side would be renewed, and would assist to reduce violence. It was also hoped that the Special Rapporteur would soon be able to test her hypothesis that violence against women in the Palestinian Authority was largely due to the Israeli presence there, as the disengagement process in the Gaza Strip would shortly be achieved.

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For use of information media; not an official record
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For information media - not an official record