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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


WOM/1390
5 March 2003


Commission on Status of Women
Forty-seventh Session
5th & 6th Meetings (AM & PM)

WOMEN’S SOCIAL, ECONOMIC INEQUALITY LEADS TO
TRAFFICKING, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, EXPLOITATION,
SAY SPEAKERS IN WOMEN’S COMMISSION

Note Women Represent ‘Staggering’ 70 Per Cent of Those in Poverty;
Why Is Most Dangerous Place for a Women Her Own Home? Delegate Asks


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Background

The Commission on the Status of Women met today to continue the discussion of its two thematic issues -- women and the media, and violence against women (for background information see press release WOM/1386, issued on 28 February).

Statements

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DATIN FAIZAH MOHD TAHIR (Malaysia) ...

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In conclusion, she turned to the Secretary-General’s report on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women.  Her delegation was not convinced that the recommendations contained therein would solve the grave humanitarian crisis faced by Palestinian women.  Malnutrition was increasing; with a 10.4 per cent increase in the incidence of low birth weights, and a staggering 52 per cent increase in the rate of stillbirths.  The recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s report must not only seek to address the symptoms, but also tackle the root causes of the problem.

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SOMAIA BARGHOUTI, observer of Palestine, said since 28 September 2000, the entire Palestinian population had been subjected to a military campaign on a scope and scale unprecedented.  War crimes, State terrorism and systematic human rights violations were being committed daily by the Israeli occupying forces in flagrant violation of international law, including international humanitarian law.  Those Israeli crimes had resulted in the killing of nearly 2,200 Palestinian civilians, including women and children, and the injury of more than 35,000 people, many of whom would live the rest of their lives with permanent disabilities.

Having reviewed the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, she wished to stress that, while it was important to address and review the effects of Israeli policies and practices in detail, it was more crucial to emphasize the fact that the main obstacle and the root cause of this continuing tragedy was the Israeli occupation.  Without the recognition of that fact and addressing the situation in that context, no substantial improvement of the situation of Palestinian women could be realized.  Mothers and infants and children must not be killed in their homes by tanks or helicopter missile fire or the crush of concrete on their bodies as their homes were demolished.  Yet, this was regrettably the tragic situation that continued to be faced by Palestinian women and their families under Israel’s occupation. 

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For information media - not an official record