Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search




Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/CONF.116/6
30 October 1984

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

Item 7 of the provisional agenda


THE SITUATION OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN LIVING IN THE OCCUPIED
ARAB TERRITORIES AND OTHER OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

Report of the Secretary-General

CONTENTS



Paragraphs Page
Introduction ................................ 1-13 3

A. Mandate for the report .................... 1-9 3

B. Background information .................. 10-13 4

Chapter

I. POLITICAL AND SOCIAL MATTERS ............. 14-73 6

A. Political matters ................... . 14-31 6

1. Settlements ......................... 19-25 7

2. Oppressive practices ................ 26-31 10

B. Social matters ......................... 32-73 12

1. Employment and working conditions .... 32-40 12

2. Education ............................ 41-55 14

3. Health ............................... 56-73 18

II. ASSISTANCE BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY . 74-86 25

Tables

1. West Bank and Gaza Strip:
population by sex and age, 1981 ...................... 5

2. West Bank and Gaza Strip:
migration, 1967-1981 ................................. 5

3. West Bank and Gaza Strip:
number of settlements by year of establishment
and type of settlement ................................ 8

4. West Bank and Gaza Strip: new settlements established or in
the process of being established during the period from
October 1982 to November 1983,
by area and type of settlement ........................ 9

5. West Bank and Gaza Strip: number of houses demolished by the
occupying authorities as a punitive measure,
1967-1982 ............................................ 11

6. West Bank and Gaza Strip: distribution of female labour
force, 1980 ............................................... 12

7. West Bank and Gaza Strip: distribution of refugee pupils, 1983/84 .......................................... 15

8. Female college and university enrolment in the occupied
territories, 1981/82 .................................... 16

9. Average incidence of underweight in infants and children
registered in child health clinics............... . 21

10. West Bank and Gaza Strip: household facilities, 1981...... 25

INTRODUCTION

A. Mandate for the report

1. The situation of women and children living in the occupied Arab territories has been the subject of increasing international concern since the beginning of the United Nations Decade for Women. At the World Conference of the International Women's Year, held at Mexico City in 1975, special attention was drawn to the specific needs of Palestinian women and children and measures to assist them. 1/

2. Subsequently, the General Assembly, in paragraph 23 of the annex to its resolution 34/24 of 15 November 1979, had requested that "a study should be prepared in 1981 by the Commission on the Status of Women on the situation of women and children living under the racist minority régimes in southern Africa, especially under the apartheid régime, and of women and children living in the occupied Arab territories and other occupied territories".

3. The Assembly also adopted resolutions 34/160 and 34/161 of 17 December
1979, which resulted in the inclusion in the agenda of the World Conference of
the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, held at
Copenhagen in July 1980, of an item entitled "Effects of Israeli occupation on
Palestinian women inside and outside the occupied territories: (a) Review of
social and economic needs of Palestinian women; (b) Special measures for
Palestinian women inside and outside the occupied territories", and in the
submission under that item of reports on special measures of assistance to the
Palestinian women (A/CONF.94/4) and on the effects of the Israeli occupation
on Palestinian women inside and outside the occupied territories (A/CONF/94/21
and Corr.1). Both had been prepared by the Economic Commission for Western
Asia (ECWA) and were considered at its regional preparatory meeting. The
Programme of Action for the Second Half of the United Nations Decade for
Women, 2/ adopted at the Copenhagen Conference, included proposals for
assistance to Palestinian women inside and outside the occupied territories. 3/

4. The Commission on the Status of Women, at its twenty-ninth session,
recommended for adoption by the Economic and Social Council a draft resolution
on the situation of women and children in the occupied Arab territories, which
was subsequently adopted by the Council as resolution 1982/18 of 4 May 1982.

5. The provisional agenda for the thirtieth session recommended by the
Commission and approved by the Council in its decision 1982/123 of 7 May 1982
included an item on the participation of women in the struggle for the
strengthening of international peace and security and against colonialism,
racism, racial discrimination, foreign aggression and occupation and all forms
of foreign domination. Under that item, the Commission had before it a report
of the Secretary-General on the situation of women and children living under
racist minority régimes and in the occupied Arab territories and other
occupied territories (E/CN.6/1984/10).

6. The Commission took note of the report and recommended to the Economic
and Social Council the adoption of a resolution on the situation of
Palestinian women within and outside the occupied Arab territories, which was
adopted by the Council as resolution 1984/18 of 24 May 1984.

7. The General Assembly, in its resolution 38/108 of 16 December 1983,
considered that the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements
of the United Nations Decade for Women, within the framework of item 7 of the
provisional agenda proposed by the Commission at its first session as the
preparatory body for the Conference (A/CONF.116/PC/9 and Corr.1, chap. I,
sect. A, recommendation I), should pay particular attention to the problems of
women in Territories under racist colonial rule and in Territories under
foreign occupation on the basis of appropriate documentation from the
international conferences held at Mexico City and Copenhagen, with the theme
"Equality, Development and Peace".

8. The Commission, at its second session as the preparatory body for the
Conference, adopted a draft decision recommending that the report of the
Secretary-General on women and children living in the Arab occupied
territories and other occupied territories (E/CN.6/1984/10) should be updated
and submitted as basic documentation to the Conference (A/CONF.116/PC/19 and
Corr.1, chap. I, sect. A, draft decision II). This recommendation was
approved by the Council in its decision 1984/125 of 24 May 1984.

9. The present report has been prepared in response to that recommendation.
As no comprehensive study related to the status of Palestinian women has been
prepared within the United Nations system during the last year, it draws
exclusively on recent reports and other material dealing with various aspects
of living conditions of Palestinian people in the Arab occupied territories,
prepared by United Nations bodies.*
B. Background information

10. Since the Palestinian population has been dispersed all over the world,
it is difficult to know exactly how many Palestinians there are altogether:
estimates range from 3.6 million to 4.2 million for 1980 (E/ECWA/166/Add.1,
pp. 58-59). In 1981, the total population of the West Bank, with a land area
of 5,500 square kilometres, was 707,300 and that of the Gaza Strip, with an
area of 367 square kilometres, was 451,600. Some 50 per cent of the people
living on the West Bank are refugees registered with the United Nations Relief
and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and 85 per
cent of those living in the Gaza Strip are refugees.**

11. Detailed information on the structure of the population in the occupied
territories by sex and age is given in table 1.


*Although none of these reports refer specifically to the question of
Palestinian women, they describe the living conditions of the Palestinian
population as a whole.

**Official figures compiled by UNRWA for 1983 are 342,164 registered
refugees in the West Bank and 378,771 in the Gaza Strip. The 1981 figures for
the population as a whole are from the Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1982
(Jerusalem, Central Bureau of Statistics, 1982).
Table 1. West Bank and Gaza Strip: population by sex and age, 1981 a



Age Females Males
(years) (percentage) (percentage) Percentage of total



0-14 43.2 48.0 45.6
15-29 28.4 30.2 29.3
30-44 14.3 9.6 11.9
45-64 11.3 9.2 10.3
65 and over 2.8 3.0 2.9


Source: See "The situation of women and children living under racist
minority regimes and in the occupied Arab territories and other occupied
territories: report of the Secretary-General" (E/CN.6/1984/10).

a Based on a population of 707,300 for the West Bank and of 451,600 for
the Gaza Strip, making a total of 1,158,900.

12. The high male emigration rate resulted in a decline in the male
population in the age brackets 30-44 years and 45-64 years and created a ratio
of 80 males to 100 females. 4 Since 1980, emigration has increased particularly for males aged 14-25 years. This increase further affects the demographic structure of the population, contributes to the growing number of dependences per wage earner and lowers the rates of labour-force participation. 5

13. Detailed information on emigration from the West Bank and Gaza is given
in table 2.
Table 2. West Bank and Gaza Strip: migration, 1967-1981



West Bank Gaza Strip
Number Rate per Number Rate per
Year of migrants 1,000 of migrants 1,000

1967 -13,000 21.8 -12,300 32.0
1968 -15,800 27.0 -32,300 87.5
1969 + 1,300 2.2 - 2,900 8.1
1970 - 5,000 8.3 - 3,300 9.0
1971 - 2,500 4.1 - 2,400 6.5
1972 - 7,200 11.5 - 4,000 10.4
1973 + 300 .5 + 1,700 4.3
1974 - 2,800 4.2 - 1,900 4.7
1975 -15,100 22.5 - 3,500 8.3
1976 -14,400 21.2 - 4,200 9.7
1977 -10,400 14.7 - 2,900 6.5
1978 - 9,400 13.4 - 4,700 10.3
1979 -12,600 17.7 - 4,800 10.3
1980 -17,300 24.0 - 5,100 11.3
1981 -15,700 21.6 - 5,300 11.5


Source: See "Living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied
Palestinian territories: report of the Secretary-General" (A/39/233-E/1984/79).
I. POLITICAL AND SOCIAL MATTERS
A. Political matters

14. The policy of the occupying Power uniformly affects men, women, youth and
children as members of society. Despite countless resolutions of the Security
Council, the General Assembly and other United Nations organs, emphasizing the
right of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland and the right of
self-determination, calling for a cessation of the construction of settlements
in the occupied territories (see, for example, General Assembly resolution
38/79 C of 15 December 1983), the Government of Israel has been promulgating
since 7 June 1967 a series of decrees, by which it has established a military
administration for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.* These Laws,
particularly Decrees 1 and 2, constitute the basis for Israeli policy in the
occupied territories. 6


*Although Military Order No. 947 of 8 November 1981 proclaimed the
establishment of a civil administration under a Head of the Civil
Administration appointed by the Area Commander, who is in charge of laws and
military orders, the basis of military order in the occupied territories has
not been changed.

15. The military administration has also reinstituted the Defence Emergency
Laws of 1945, issued by the British Mandatory Government. These Laws enable
the occupying Power to confiscate Arab lands and to prevent residents from
returning to their villages and towns to claim their property. These Laws and
practices seriously affect the economic situation and living conditions of
Palestinian families, often separating women and children from the male family
members. 7 The new income tax introduced by Israeli authorities in Gaza and
on the West Bank early in 1983, based on an estimate of all the property of
Palestinian residents, including jewellery, furniture and the property of any
sons, outside as well as in the territories, further diminished the living
standard of many Palestinian families. 8

16. People in the occupied territories are subject to two different judicial
and local government systems. Civil law applies to the Israeli citizens;
military law applies to Palestinians, their towns and villages, and is based
on military administration and military orders, violations of which are tried
by military courts and cannot be appealed against. 9

17. The situation of women has been aggravated under the Defence Emergency
Laws, which have resulted in mass arrests, collective punishments, detentions
without trial, deportations, and restrictions of freedom of association and
expression. 8

18. The life of the Palestinians in the occupied territories continues to be
governed by these military regulations, since no new laws have been enacted to
date.
1. Settlements

19. One of the first policy acts of the occupying Power was to confiscate
Arab land and create a network of settlements in which Israeli settlers
reside. This policy, designed to force individual and mass transfers of the
indigenous Arab population from the West Bank and Gaza, 10 not only led to
the continued strengthening and enlargements of existing settlements in
1983/84 11 but also to the illegal pursuit of the establishment of new
settlements,* whose numbers are increasing continuously, despite international
condemnation of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as an
obstacle to peace, for example in Security Council resolution 465 (1980) of
1 March 1980 and General Assembly resolution ES-7/6 of 19 August 1982. In
the period 1967-1982, 204 settlements were established in the occupied
territories, including Jerusalem. An additional 63 were established between
October 1982 and November 1983 or are under construction. 12 The number of
Israelis living in the settlements on the West Bank alone in 1984 was
35,000. 13


20. Detailed information on the number and type of settlements by year is
given in tables 3 and 4.
---
*For example, on 10 June 1984, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for
Settlements decided to establish three new settlements on the West Bank, on
land belonging to Arab villages (A/39/329-S/16646). In December 1983, the
occupation authorities established two new settlements: Tselef and Ramat Ha
Sharon (A/39/119-S/16379, annex I, p. 2).

21. The settlements are primarily agricultural, though some are paramilitary
and industrial, and they surround the major cities and villages in the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip. They are often interconnected by water, electricity
and communication and built mainly on high ground overlooking the countryside;
their entrances are guarded to prevent Palestinian villagers from entering
them. 14 Recently, the Israeli occupying authorities have started a new
phase of settlement policy by placing settlements within the central city of
Hebron, surrounded by old, well-established Arab neighbourhoods. 15 The
Government of Israel has also announced its "Ben Porat Plan", a major feature
of which is to demolish some of the camps and to relocate the refugees in
proper houses in order to disperse Palestinians and to create a more
homogeneous mosaic of Jewish settlements. Dismantling the camps, which have
become strongholds of Palestinian resistance, and disrupting Arab municipal
communities, weakens women's everyday struggle against the assimilation and
erosion of Palestinian national identity. 16

22. The presence of Israeli citizens, who form a privileged group among the
residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, restricts communication and
co-operation among the Palestinian people, adversely affects their social life
and disrupts daily activities. The settlements are established in such a
manner that they fragment the demographic, geographical, economic and social
unity of the occupied Arab territories and limit or impair the expansion of
Palestinian towns and villages. 17 They hamper economic, social and cultural
development, as well as diminishing the possibility of improving the status of
women in all these spheres. The emergence of two societies subject to
different legal systems, with a different outlook, culture, religion and
language, different customs, and differing standards in educational and health
services and housing conditions causes deprivation, frustration and
antagonism, and leads to violent incidents. 18
Table 3. West Bank and Gaza Strip: number of settlements
by year of establishment and type of settlement


Type of settlement
Year Urban Community Moshav Kibbutz Nahal Centre Park Total

1967-1970 6 - 5 6 - 2 1 20

1971-1973 5 - 6 1 1 - - 13

1974-1976 - 4 6 - - 1 - 11

1977 4 8 10 3 - 1 - 26

1978-1980 10 20 30 - 11 1 2 74

1981-1982 10 16 20 - 13 1 - 60
Total 1967-
1982 35 48 77 10 25 6 3 204


Source: United Nations, Israeli Settlements in Gaza and the West Bank
(including Jerusalem): their Nature and Purpose (1984), part two, p. 24.
Table 4. West Bank and Gaza Strip: new settlements established or in the
process of being established during the period from October 1982
to November 1983, by area and type of settlement


Site of Type of settlement

settlement Urban Community Moshav Nahal Total

Jerusalem District 3 1 - - 4
Northern West Bank 21 10 3 3 37
Southern West Bank 11 3 6 - 20
Gaza Strip - - 2 - 2
Total 35 14 11 3 63


Source: United Nations, Israeli Settlements in Gaza and the West Bank
(including Jerusalem): their Nature and Purpose (1984), part two, p. 24.


23. The Israeli settlers have been granted permission to carry arms and to
maintain law and order. 19 There have recently been numerous instances of
settlers, usually armed, entering the schools and disrupting classes or
interfering in the refugee camps. 20 The disruption of religious practices
has assumed greater proportions in recent years; there have been acts of
violence and Moslem and Christian religious sites have been desecrated. In
1984, two nuns were stabbed in the convent of the Russian Orthodox Church in
Jerusalem. 21

24. The status of women is particularly affected by the diversion of natural
water resources, the prohibition of the drilling of new wells by Palestinians
and restrictions on the amount of water they are allowed to pump, because
clean water is necessary for household use, for child care and for maintaining
health and hygienic standards in the family. 22 Curtailed electricity
supplies create additional problems for them in carrying out household tasks
and rearing children.

25. The fertile land is divided into small segments, rendering large-scale
agricultural development difficult and restricting the sovereignty of the
Arabs over their own land. 23 All these factors have specifically negative
effects on Palestinian women, for whom the family farm is a traditional source
of livelihood and stability. The declining prospects for Palestinian farms
seriously affect not only the economic status of women but also their social
position and psychological well-being. Losing a farm sometimes leads to
separation of the family. According to UNRWA statistics for 1983 on
registered Palestinian refugees, on the West Bank there were 27,226 female
heads of household out of a total of 72,272 and in the Gaza Strip 14,567 out
of a total of 75,296, a situation that creates many difficulties, since the
majority of Palestinian women have not been prepared to live independently and
to take decisions concerning every-day family life.
2. Oppressive practices

26. Under the Defence Emergency Laws, activated on 7 June 1967, 6 arrest,
detention and other forms of oppression have continued to be applied to the
Palestinian population: men, women and children alike.

27. Examples of the oppressive practices by the military authorities in the
occupied territories were reported by the Committee on the Exercise of the
Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to have taken place between 1980
and 1984. In 1983, the military authorities responded to stone-throwing at
vehicles by children and trainees on the West Bank by closing one UNRWA
vocational training centre for 48 days and three UNRWA schools for a period
varying from 60 to 25 days. There were also reports of the wounding of a
young Palestinian at Jerusalem on 12 March 1983, and the subsequent beating of
a Palestinian woman and her children who had come to his aid; 24 of a
break-in at the local school at the Shufat refugee camp by Israeli troops and
attacks on students on the same day; of the closing of the Polytechnic
Institute in retaliation for previous participation by students in
anti-occupation demonstrations at Hebron, as well as at Al-Khalil University
and schools at Halhoul, Yatte, Beit Sahour and Nablus; of continuing
terrorization of the occupied population by the Israeli settlers at Yatte; and
of Israeli occupation troops opening fire on Palestinian anti-occupation
demonstrators - men, women and children alike - at Beit Sahour on 17 March
1983. 25

28. In the period 1980-1984, restrictions on the population in the occupied
territories increased, resulting in the dismissal of most of the elected
municipal officials and the dissolution of the National Guidance Committee,
which supervised socio-educational activity, some of its members, including
female social activists, having been placed under house arrest. 26 The
restrictions caused further unrest, strikes in the municipalities and
disruptions in the schools, involving the death of a few schoolchildren in the
Gaza Strip. 27 The military authorities have imposed curfews in some camps
and villages and restrictions on travel for selected residents. 28
Palestinians have been also subjected to frequent security checks. 29
Punitive demolition of the houses of those suspected or convicted of offences
is continuing at an accelerated rate. In addition, the occupying authorities
are carrying out a new punitive measure consisting in sealing houses or rooms
with concrete. 30 These forms of collective punishment affect equally all
members of the family.

29. Detailed information on the number of the houses on the West Bank and in
the Gaza Strip demolished by the occupying authorities as a punitive measure
is given in table 5.
Table 5. West Bank and Gaza Strip: number of houses demolished
by the occupying authorities as a punitive measure, 1967-1982




Year Number of houses demolished


1967 130
1968 140
1969 301
1970 191
1971 231
1972 35
1973 34
1974 61
1975 77
1976 24
1977 1
1978 2
1979 8
1980 24
1981 32
1982 55
Total 1,346 a


Source: See "Living conditions of the Palestinian People in the occupied
Palestinian territories: report of the Secretary-General" (A/39/233-E/1984/79).

a Of which 1,318 on the West Bank and 28 in the Gaza Strip.

30. In 1983/84, residents of camps on the West Bank have suffered further
serious hardships as a result of the blocking of camp entrances with bricks
and cement by the Israeli authorities. In the Gaza Strip, 73 private rooms in
Beach camp, owned by 35 Palestine families comprising over 200 persons, were
demolished on the grounds that they contravened building regulations. The
report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly at its
thirty-ninth session provides further details. Furthermore, as a punitive
measure in retaliation against families for acts said to have been committed
by one or other of their members, the Israeli authorities demolished the
housing of 12 refugee families in the Gaza Strip, resulting in 94 persons
losing their homes. On the West Bank, two refugee shelters were demolished
and several rooms in refugee shelters sealed.

31. Imprisonment and torture of Palestinian children on the West Bank and
Gaza continues and inevitably affects not only the direct victims of these
practices but also a whole new generation growing up under conditions of
occupation. 32
B. Social matters
1. Employment and working conditions

32. Since 1967, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as occupied territories,
have registered a decline in their agricultural and economic development and
the occupying Power has gradually incorporated their economy into that of
Israel. 33 These two factors, coupled with the never-ending expropriation of
Palestinian lands and control of water resources by Israeli authorities, has
led to a number of changes in the labour market that affect the economic
status of women and change the existing pattern of women's employment.

33. In the period 1980-1984, Palestinian women from the occupied territories
worked mainly in three categories of employment: as self-employed workers, as
unskilled wage-workers in Israel and as employees in enterprises set up by
Israelis in the occupied territories. 34 The participation of women in the
total labour force in 1980 was 18.7 per cent for the West Bank and 6.1 per
cent for the Gaza Strip. 35

34. Detailed information on the distribution of the female labour force on
the West Bank (excluding Jerusalem) and in the Gaza Strip in 1980 is given in
table 6.

(a) Self-employment

35. Self-employment, particularly through ownership of land, is still the
most common form of women's work. Nearly two thirds of the female labour
force on the West Bank, estimated at about 16,200, is self-employed.
Approximately 90 per cent of the women are engaged in agriculture and mainly
work on small family farms. It is estimated that nearly 45 per cent of the
total agricultural work-force on the West Bank is female. The rest of the
self-employed women work in small industries, on tasks such as sewing and
embroidery. 35

Table 6. West Bank and Gaza Strip: distribution of
female labour force, 1980



Women employed on the Women employed in the
West Bank Gaza Strip
Number Percentage Number Percentage
Occupation (thousands) (thousands)


Professional, techni-
cal, academic and
related occupations 3.6 14.7 2.3 47.0

Administrators and
managers 0.1 0.4 - -

Clerical and related
occupations 0.7 2.9 0.1 2.0
Sales occupations 0.5 2.0 0.2 4.1

Service occupations 1.0 4.1 0.3 6.1

Agricultural occupa-
tions 15.7 64.1 0.5 10.2

Skilled occupations
in industry 2.5 10.2 1.4 28.6

Other occupations in
industry and
unskilled occupations 0.4 1.6 - -

Total 24.5 100 4.9 100


Source: See TEAM/SP1/WP.8.


36. The reverse situation is found in the Gaza Strip, where only 8 per cent
of the self-employed women are working in agriculture and two thirds are
engaged in manufacturing. 36 The fact that most of the Gaza Strip families
are landless reduces the possibilities of work for women in traditional areas
and results in a much lower participation of women in the labour force in the
Gaza Strip than on the West Bank.

(b) Work for wages

37. Owing to a shortage of unskilled labourers, Israel began to employ
Palestinians, including Palestinian women, from the occupied territories in
1968.* The flow of labour from the West Bank by 1981 reached 74,000 persons
recruited through official channels. The actual number of Palestinians
working in Israel is, however, much larger and covers those employed
unofficially, often including women and children working in seasonal
agriculture. 37


*In 1970, only 11.9 per cent of Palestinian workers from the territories
were employed in Israel. The percentage increased to 35.5 per cent by 1982,
owing to employment in the construction sector. Employment in the territories
declined from 88.1 per cent in 1970 to 64,5 per cent, in 1982
(A/39/233-E/1984/79, para. 79).

(c) Work in Israeli enterprises

38. In addition to being employed as migrant and agricultural workers, many
women are employed in enterprises set up by Israelis in the occupied
territories, which specialize in finishing goods imported from Israel. This
is a prevalent practice in the garment industry. The wages received there are
up to 50 per cent lower than wages for equivalent work in Israel. The
comparative reluctance of women to move away has enabled entrepreneurs to
depress the price of local female labour. 38

(d) Working conditions

39. The majority of the Palestinian workers employed in Israel and in Israe
enterprises in the occupied territories work at the lower levels of the
employment structure, in jobs that are mostly manual, unskilled and poorly
paid. They have no job security and are employed on short-term work permits
which means that they are not entitled to unemployment benefits, compensation??
for illness etc. 39 Palestinian women and children engaged on a short-term
basis in Israel generally work under even more difficult conditions than
Palestinian men, since they often work illegally. Many women and children a
low-wage labourers engaged in seasonal work, harvesting crops or working in
hotels and restaurants. They are exposed to various kinds of exploitation a
well as to detention or interrogation, owing to their status as illegal
workers, which prevents them from observing existing rules concerning work
permits and staying off the work-site at night. 40

40. Moreover, this type of work, which is contrary to the Palestinian
tradition, is uprooting women from their traditional position in society,
without giving them any guarantee of a permanent job or prospects for
advancement. In addition, their absence from the house has adverse effects
the family and community life, on the education of children and on the
preservation of traditions.
2. Education

41. The public educational system in the occupied territories covers
elementary, preparatory and secondary education provided by private,
government schools run by UNRWA in conjunction with the United Nations
Economic and Social Organization (UNESCO). The UNRWA/UNESCO school system of??
refugee children goes up to the ninth grade. In 1983/84, enrolment on the
West Bank totalled 39,593 pupils in 98 schools served by 1,281 teachers, and
in the Gaza Strip 82,301 pupils in 143 schools, with a teaching force of
2,217. 41 Fifty UNRWA/UNESCO schools on the West Bank and 92 schools in the
Gaza Strip operated on a double shift. The double-shift system is generally
recognized as detrimental to the child's development. The much shorter school??
day also makes life more difficult for mothers, particularly in many cases
where children from the same family attend different shifts. 42 A lack of
funds for capital expenditure has limited UNRWA/UNESCO school construction to
the essential minimum.

42. Detailed information on the distribution of refugee pupils receiving
education in 1983/84 is given in table 7.

43. The public educational system on the West Bank is based on the Jordanian
system and in the Gaza Strip on the Egyptian system. Since 1967, both system
have been under the control of the military authorities. 43

Table 7. West Bank and Gaza Strip: distribution of refugee
pupils, 1983/84


Number of pupils
Type of school West Bank Gaza Strip

Number of pupils in
elementary classes
at UNRWA schools: a

Boys 13 122 32 282

Girls 15 172 28 677

Total 28 294 60 959

Number of pupils
in preparatory classes
at UNRWA schools a

Boys 5 417 11 099

Girls 5 882 10 243

Total 11 299 21 342

Number of refugee pupils
in government schools 23 965 18 415

Number of refugee pupils
in private schools 1 246 -

Total 25 111 18 415

Total number of refugee
pupils known to receive
education 64 704 100 716


Source: Based on the report of the Commissioner-General of the United
Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the
General Assembly at its thirty-ninth session (Official Records of the General
Assembly, Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/39/13)), p. 52, table 3.

a On the West Bank 98 UNRWA schools, with 1,281 teachers, in the Gaza
Strip, 143 UNRWA schools, with 2,217 teachers.

44. Since 1969, all textbooks newly prescribed or revised by host Governments
have been submitted to UNESCO for approval before they are procured for UNRWA
schools. On the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, where Jordanian and Egyptian
schoolbooks are used respectively, books are subject to the further
requirement of a special import permit from the Israeli authorities. For
example, for the academic year 1983/84 there were nine textbooks for the West
Bank and 11 textbooks for Gaza that had been approved by UNESCO but refused
import permits by the occupying authorities. These restrictions referred
especially to Palestinian history, geography and culture, hindering the
transmission of knowledge of heritage, national history and tradition to
Palestinian children and youth. 44

(a) Pre-school education

45. According to Israeli statistics, there were 13,988 children in
kindergartens in 1981. 45 Most of those children attended kindergartens
sponsored by private institutions and Palestinian community organizations,
although UNRWA operated 16 pre-school centres funded by the American Friends
Service Committee in the Gaza Strip. 46 A serious shortage of this type of
service is particularly felt by women who for financial reasons must work and
have no place to leave their children.

(b) Elementary, preparatory, secondary and higher education

46. In the period 1980-1984, there was a steady increase in overall
enrolment, as well as in female enrolment at all levels of education. Male
enrollment is higher at the preparatory and secondary levels, but women
nevertheless perform better in the secondary examination (tawjihi). In 1981,
of 13,489 students who completed secondary education, 4,688 (34 per cent of
the total) were females. At the university level, female enrolment represents
more than 40 per cent of the total. This could be due to the high male
drop-out rate in the 13-16 year age-group as a result of the need to work and
to assist the family, and to the emigration or detention of the male youth. 47

47. Detailed information on female college and university enrolment in the
occupied territories in 1981/1982 is presented in table 8.
Table 8. Female college and university enrolment in the occupied
territories, 1981/82



Number of students
Institution Male Female Total


Birzeit University 1 209 680 1 889
An-Najah University 1 580 942 2 522
Bethlehem University 626 522 1 148
Hebron University 637 664 1 301
Islamic University (Gaza) 1 311 567 1 878
Abu-Dis College of Sciences 28 32 60
College of Religious Fundamentals 139 98 237
Arab College for Medical Professions 14 138 157
Total 5 544 3 643 9 187


Source: TEAM/SD1/WP.15, p. 46.

48. Academic life and teaching processes have continued to be seriously
affected by restrictions on academic freedoms, programmes and research under
the military administration. In 1983, there were numerous instances of
universities being closed and teachers who refused to sign written
undertakings linked to the military orders being expelled, cases of collective
punishment and arrest of male and female students, and of soldiers opening
fire at demonstrations, killing some students, including one female student at
Hebron. 48

(c) Vocational training

49. There are four types of vocational training institutions on the West Bank
and in the Gaza Strip providing technical training to Palestinians, only two
of which, the UNRWA/UNESCO training centres and the private training centres,
have large numbers of women trainees.

50. The Ramallah Women's Training Centre on the West Bank, run by UNRWA,
offers two-year courses in secretarial and office skills, nursery and
kindergarten training, administrative skills, medical technology, sewing,
cosmetics and beauty care. In 1982/83, 165 graduates completed training in
secretarial work (44); as laboratory technicians (19); in dressmaking (11); in
clothing production (25); as infant leaders (39); in home and institutional
management (15) and in hairdressing (12). 49

51. The private training centres have a low female enrolment, but many
private Palestinian institutions, which have organized practical work-related
short-term courses, train a large number of women. 49

52. The secondary vocational public schools, which offer three-year courses
in welding, carpentry, heating, radio and television repair, and the
government training institutions have in practice an exclusively male
enrolment.

53. UNRWA runs special activity programmes for refugee women and girls to
develop the skills they need to raise their standard of living. Fourteen
women's activity centres offer a varied afternoon programme of instruction in
crafts, health education and child care, literacy classes and cultural and
sporting activities. Two new centres were opened in the Gaza Strip in 1983/84
and work has begun on an extension to a third, which had been halted by the
Israeli authorities. A more formal one-year course is offered at the 20 UNRWA
sewing centres, in dressmaking, and hand and machine embroidery. At the end
of the course, the successful graduates are awarded a diploma that helps them
obtain employment. 50

54. The work of UNRWA schools, vocational courses and training programmes
during the period 1980-1984 was disrupted by unrest and demonstrations, which
began in the autumn of 1981 and continued for the remainder of the period,
resulting in the harassment of school pupils and teachers. For example, in
December 1981, in one UNRWA centre, 246 female trainees and 6 staff were
temporarily detained; 20 trainees were brought to trial and given suspended
sentences. 51

3. Health

56. According to the report of the Special Committee of Experts Appointed to
Study the Health Conditions of the Inhabitants of the Occupied Territories,
submitted to the thirty-seventh World Health Assembly, 53 health conditions
in the occupied territories cannot be separated from the general
socio-economic framework and its repercussions on the community and on
individual men, women and children, manifested, for example, by the
deterioration of mental well-being and an increase of mental diseases,
particularly neuroses. The health conditions of the Arab population in the
occupied territories, including Jerusalem, and the health system itself have
remained unchanged. The management of the health programmes and budget is the
task of Israeli authorities. The improvements that have been made in the
health services are far from being adequate to meet the needs of a growing
population and to reflect the advances in medical science. 54 As noted by
the World Health Organization (WHO) Special Committee of Experts, the
insufficient number of hospital beds,* the high cost of hospitalization,**
antiquated diagnostic equipment, old buildings experiencing problems with
electricity, heating and laundry facilities, and a shortage of essential
medical equipment, staff and drugs remain serious obstacles to health
protection. Although they affect the population as a whole, health conditions
have greater significance for women, who bear and rear the children and look
after the health and nutrition of the family. There is also a higher
percentage of adult women than of men in the occupied territories.

57. The shortage of qualified staff in the medical professions, particularly
specialists in mental disease and in the control of hygiene, poses a serious
obstacle to the improvement of health care, which specifically affects women
and children. At the same time, many male and female graduates, especially
physicians, can find no employment in the public health care system of the
occupied territories and either remain out of work or are forced to take other
jobs.

58. The international community has endeavoured to overcome the shortage of
qualified health staff, especially for mother and child care. UNRWA is
carrying out extensive in-service training for its own staff; within the
framework of a WHO-sponsored training and fellowship programme for health
personnel, several fellowships are awarded annually to UNRWA personnel for
post-graduate training courses. UNRWA also provides at its vocational
training institutions paramedical courses to enable refugee students to become
assistant pharmacists, laboratory technicians and public health inspectors.
(In 1982/83, 39 girl trainees were attending paramedical courses at the
Ramallah Women's Training Centre.) On completing their training, graduates
may join UNRWA or the UNRWA Placement Office may help them to find employment
in the region. 56


*In the Gaza Strip the number of hospital beds decreased from 1,000 in
1974 to 904 in 1981; on the West Bank it remained at 1,393 (Statistical
Abstract of Israel, p. 777).

**The increase in the daily charge for hospital accommodation places the
hospitals in an inferior position to units of the same level in Israel and
neighbouring countries (WHO document A/37/13, p. 5).

59. In view of the fact that inflation is making it difficult for ordinary
people in the occupied territories to obtain essential food, the WHO Special
Committee of Experts during its 1984 mission paid specific attention to the
question of nutrition as one of the most important factors affecting human
life and, specifically, the health of women and children. The Committee was
unable to make an objective evaluation of the nutritional status of the
population in the absence of any statistics. Nevertheless, it drew attention
to birth-weight as the principal indicator of the nutritional status of a
community. Birth-weight as recorded in hospitals was below 2.5 kilograms for
6.8 per cent of the children born in 1983 on the West Bank and for 5.2 per
cent of those born in Gaza. It also drew attention to the protein-calorie
malnutrition commonly encountered in pediatric practices, in many cases
requiring hospitalization, which affects 7 per cent of the children aged 0-3
years in the refugee camps. 57

(a) Curative and preventive medical care services

60. Preventive and curative medical care - both in-patient and out-patient -
and dental services comprise an important part of the UNRWA health programme
for Palestinian refugee women and children. They are provided by 32 UNWRA
health units on the West Bank and nine in the Gaza Strip, 22 Government
clinics in the Gaza Strip and one voluntary agency clinic on the West Bank,
private health institutes and special health teams for children. 58 UNRWA
also operates dental clinics and central and clinical laboratories. On the
West Bank, it runs a small hospital at Qalqiliya with 36 beds and, jointly
with the local Public Health Department, a tuberculosis hospital with 70 beds
in the Gaza Strip. Other hospital and specialist services are subsidized by
government, university and private health institutions. With the changing
demography of the refugee population, there is now a higher incidence of
degenerative diseases, notably diabetes mellitus. A recent survey shows that
this incidence is highest among middle-aged women who have borne more than one
child. UNRWA is strengthening its specialist clinics to improve the diabetic
service. 59

61. The UNRWA nutrition rehabilitation clinics are directed particularly at
the supervision, protection and promotion of the nutritional status of the
most vulnerable groups of refugees: infants, pre-school and elementary school
children, pregnant and nursing mothers, non-hospitalized tuberculosis patients
and members of hardship families. The data collected through routine
surveillance of the growth and development of children under five years of age
who attend the child-health clinics show that their nutritional condition is
well-maintained. Nutritionally balanced midday meals are offered daily at
UNRWA supplementary feeding centres to all children under six years of age and
upon medical recommendation to older ones, sick adults and hardship cases.
The nutritional status of the six-to-eight-year-olds may, however, be at risk
and UNRWA would extend its supplementary feeding programme to this age-group
if the funding were available. In addition to the UNRWA expanded programme on
immunization against the six target diseases - tuberculosis, diphtheria,
pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis and measles - and the UNRWA environmental
sanitation programme, the nutrition support of vulnerable groups and the
health education activities among refugee communities contributes to the
effective control of communicable diseases. 60

(b) Maternal and child health centres

62. UNRWA provides maternal and child health services - pre-natal, natal
and infant and child care - at its health units, supported by specialist and
hospital referral services. In 1983/84 the Gaza Strip had six maternity wards
attached to the UNRWA health centres; 28 per cent of the deliveries took place
in these facilities, 48 per cent in the two government hospitals and 24 per
cent at home, usually with the aid of traditional birth attendants. On the
West Bank, 70 per cent of the refugee children were delivered in hospitals and
camp maternity centres and 30 per cent were born at home. 61

63. Details of the maternal and child health services provided by UNRWA
are set out below:

West Bank Gaza Strip
Maternal care

Pre-natal services

Number of pre-natal clinics 24 9
Number of newly registered
pregnant women 5 098 14 024
Average monthly attendance 1 514 4 370
Number of serological tests
for syphilis (STS) 0 5 387
Number of positive cases 0 13
Number of home visits 48 272

Natal care

Number of deliveries registered 5 769 13 370
At home 1 751 3 248
In camp maternity centres 86 3 670
In hospitals 3 932 6 452
Number of live births 5 751 13 377
Number of still births 64 138
Number of maternal deaths 1 0
Number of home visits
(post-natal) 4 639 38 787

Child health care

Number of child health clinics 23 9
Number of infants aged 0-1 year
registered 4 812 13 756

Child health care (continued)

Average monthly attendance 4 421 10 180
Number of children aged 1-2 years
registered 5 315 11 555
Average bimonthly attendance 5 145 10 117
Number of children aged 2-3 years
registered 5 066 10 298
Average trimonthly attendance 4 947 9 054

Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in
the Near East, Annual Report of the Director of Health, 1983, p. 28, table 8.

64. Special services are provided by child health clinics to the underweight
children registered with them. Information on the average incidence of
underweight in infants is given in table 9. The prevalence of underweight
declines in the age-group 2-3 years.

Table 9. Average incidence of underweight in infants and children
registered in child health clinics


First, second
and third
First degree Second degree Third degree degrees
Area Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage


Number and percentage of underweight infants aged 0-1 years

West Bank 204 4.2 67 1.4 12 0.2 283 5.8
Gaza Strip 638 4.6 303 2.2 35 0.3 976 7.1

Number and percentage of underweight children (1-2 years)

West Bank 184 1.6 56 0.7 3 0.2 243 2.5
Gaza Strip 739 6.4 397 3.4 18 0.2 1 154 10.0



Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in
the Near East, Annual Report of the Director of Health, 1983, pp. 29-30,
table 8.

Note: Degrees of underweight are based on the following percentage of
average theoretical weight for age:

First degree 75-85 per cent
Second degree 60-74 per cent
Third degree Below 60 per cent

5. Family planning services are an integral part of the maternal and child
health programme in the Gaza Strip, 62 where a special programme on health
and family life is included in the school curriculum for girls in the third
reparatory class. The school health services at UNRWA schools were
reorganized from the beginning of the school year 1983/84 with a view to
developing an effective programme to monitor the health of pupils throughout
he school cycle. 63

(c) Health conditions in camps

6. The extremely harsh life and poor health conditions in the refugee camps
take their residents especially vulnerable to diseases and infections. Most
of the camps have no covered water-supply systems, the sewers are open and the
oilets for common use are few in number and unsanitary. UNRWA is therefore
aying special attention to the health protection of women and children, who
re the ones most exposed to health hazards. 64

67. UNRWA, with the co-operation of host Governments, municipalities and
local councils, continues to provide basic community sanitation services to
Palestinian refugees in camps. The services comprise the provision of
adequate quantities of potable water, disposal of wastes, drainage of
rainwater and control of insect and rodent vectors of diseases. Indoor water
taps have been provided to all shelters in Borage, Maghazi and Nuseirat camps
on the Gaza Strip and private water connection schemes for Deir Ammar camp on
the West Bank are being developed. 65 The refuse collection system is being
improved in the Gaza Strip. Surveys of sanitary facilities in the schools
have been carried out and school health committees are being established to
supervise major renovation projects. 66 Health education workers collaborate
with camp health committees and other UNRWA staff members in health centres,
schools and welfare centres to promote good health practices. In particular,
they give classes for women attending sewing centres. 67

68. The medical and health preventive services and activities have suffered
in the years 1981-1984 from frequent disturbances on the West Bank and in the
Gaza Strip. 68 The raids on camps have hindered efforts to improve their
infrastructure, numerous acts by the police and military have affected the
work of maternal and child health centres and other indoor and outdoor
services for women and children.

(d) Environmental sanitation and housing

69. Insufficient water supply, pollution of the drinking water, low standards
of housing, sewage and waste disposal and the presence of rats remain the
essential problems of environmental health in the occupied territories.
Gastro-enteritis, linked to environmental sanitation and community behaviour,
continues to be a public health problem.*

70. Some 20 per cent of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories
live in housing units with a density of three persons to a room, and for
approximately 50 per cent of the population the average family household
consists of seven or more members. 69 Although electrical and plumbing
facilities and the availability of running water have improved over the years,
in some areas these basic services are inadequate. The housing problem is
particularly difficult for women in the low-income categories, who are in need
of adequate space and sanitary and cooking facilities to take proper care of
their children and families.

71. The occupying authorities have not taken any measures to help
lower-income groups of the local population to acquire adequate housing.
Absence of construction to replace substandard housing, restrictive practices
as regards permits for private, public or municipal constructions and the
transfer of funds from abroad have prevented Palestinian communities from
improving the municipal services or providing new housing facilities. 70

72. Assuming that all new house constructions in the settlements include such
facilities as kitchen, bathroom, toilet, running water and electricity, an
assessment of the limitation of these facilities in Palestinian homes in the
occupied territories can be made from table 10.


*On the West Bank in 1983, 84 cases of typhoid fever and 266 cases of
dysentery were recorded; there were 173 deaths from gastro-enteritis. In the
Gaza Strip there were 50 cases of typhoid fever and 25 of cholera. (WHO
document A/37/13, p. 9).

(e) Women's organizations

73. Palestinian women's organizations date back as far as 1921. They have
developed relief programmes, shelters for disabled persons, educational
programmes for poor children, health and literacy centres, workshops, and
mother and child care units. They have also developed self-reliance,
vocational training and income-generating programmes for women, relief
programmes for refugees and committees for the preservation of heritage and
culture. The broad spectrum of social activities undertaken by the
contemporary Palestinian women's organizations are aimed at raising the living
conditions and status of women in particular and of the Palestinian community
in general. Among the women's organizations officially registered as
charitable organizations are the following:
Names of officially registered women's charitable societies

Date of official
Name Location registration

Jerusalem governorate

Ri'ayat al-Tifl Society Ramallah 1945

Rawdat al-Zuhur Society
(The Kindergarten of Flowers) Jerusalem 1952

Arab Women's Union - Beit Sahur Beit Sahur 1956

Sayidat-al-Bishara Greek Catholic
Women's Society (Lady of the
Annunciation Greek Catholic
Women's Society) Jerusalem 1956

Arab Women's Union - Jerusalem Jerusalem 1957

Old People's Home Society Jerusalem 1957

Armenian Charitable Society
for Women Jerusalem 1958

Jericho Women's Charitable Society Jericho 1963

Arab Women's Society Jerusalem 1965

Arab Women's Union - Bethlehem Bethlehem 1965

Arab Women's Union - al-Bireh al-Bireh 1965

Arab Women's Union - Ramallah Ramallah 1965

Bisat al-Ruhman Greek Orthodox
Women's Society Bethlehem 1965

Dar-al-Tifl al-Arabi
(Arab Children's Home) Jerusalem 1965
Hamilat-al-Tib Greek Orthodox
Society Bethlehem 1965

Hamilat-al-Tib Greek Orthodox
Society for the Relief of
the Miserable Sick Jerusalem 1965

In'ash al-Usra
(Society for Family Revival) al-Bireh 1965

Ri'ayat al-Tifl Women's Society
(Women's Society for the Care
of Children) Jerusalem 1965

Women's Revival Society Ramallah 1965

Bir Zeit Women's Charitable Society Birzeit 1970

Society for the Training of
Young Women Bethlehem 1973

Muslim Young Women's Society Jerusalem 1979


Nablus governorate

Jordanian Red Crescent Society -
Tulkarm Tulkarm 1947

Arab Women's Union - Tulkarm Tulkarm 1953

Society for the Care of Children
and the Guidance of Mothers Nablus 1954

Al-Mirabitat Charitable Society Qalqilia 1960

Arab Orphan's Home - Tulkarm Tulkarm 1961

Charitable Society of Huwara Huwara 1963

Arab Women's Union - Nablus Nablus 1965

Charitable Society of Burin Burin 1965

Women's Charitable Society of
Salfit Salfit 1965

Charitable Society of Burqin Burqin 1971

Charitable Society of Jenin Jenin 1976

Women's Charitable Society of
Anabta Anabta

Hebron governorate

Women's Charitable Society
of Halhoul Halhoul 1964

Women's Charitable Society
of Hebron Hebron 1965

The Society for the Revival
of Village Girls Doura 1965

Women's Society for Social
Development of Arroub Arroub 1973

Table 10. West Bank and Gaza Strip: household facilities, 1981
(Percentage)


Facilities available West Bank Gaza Strip
or lacking Refugee
Total Villages Towns Total camps Towns


Kitchen for exclusive
use of household 73.2 65.8 86.4 80.1 85.5 77.8

No bathroom 49.3 59.6 26.2 38.8 48.9 30.3

No toilet 14.7 21.5 2.4 2.2 1.0 1.7

Running water in
dwelling 44.9 29.3 79.0 51.4 39.7 63.1

Electricity
round the clock 50.6 26.9 95.8 88.5 83.9 89.2

Source: See "Living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied
Palestinian territories: report of the Secretary-General" (A/39/233-E/1984/79).

II. ASSISTANCE BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

74. The resolution of the Palestinian problem remains one of the main
international political issues for the numerous organs and divisions of the
United Nations and the specialized agencies in the political, social, economic
and humanitarian spheres. In connection with the humanitarian aspects of the
Palestinian problem, international organizations have been and are undertaking
two kinds of activities: (a) the preparation of various studies and reports,
and the convening of conferences that bring the attention of the world

community to the situation of the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab
territories, all of which serve as a basis for the preparation of their
assistance programmes; and (b) the directing of humanitarian assistance to the
Palestinian people by and through various United Nations offices and the
specialized agencies. The mandate for assistance is based on Economic and
Social Council resolution 2026 (LXI) of 4 August 1976, in which the Council
invited United Nations bodies to intensify their efforts to identify social
and economic needs and requested their co-operation in establishing and
implementing projects to ensure improvement of the social and economic
conditions of the Palestinian people.

75. Another form of activity was initiated by the Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which convened a series
of regional seminars on various aspects of the inalienable rights of the
Palestinian people during the period from 1981 to 1983. The Committee also
organizes every year the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian
People. Under the guidance of the Committee, the Division for Palestinian
Rights has prepared a number of studies and publications on the issue.

76. The Palestinian problem was also discussed at the regional preparatory
meetings for the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held
at Geneva from 29 August to 7 September 1983. The Latin American Regional
Preparatory Meeting, held at Managua, was the only such meeting to pay
specific attention to the question of Palestinian women; it requested the
secretariat of the conference to prepare a study on the conditions of women
and children in all the occupied territories and to encourage various
non-governmental organizations to investigate that matter as well as to
undertake relevant joint action with their Palestinian counterparts.

77. At the International Conference, various aspects of the Palestinian
problem were analysed. The relevant conclusions and recommendations are
contained in the Geneva Declaration on Palestine 71 and the Programme of
Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights. 72

78. Among the various activities undertaken by the United Nations system to
assist Palestinian women, those of UNRWA are particularly noteworthy, focusing
as they do on measures to implement the Programme of Action for the Second
Half of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and
Peace. These measures are mainly concentrated on education, relief, health
and vocational training in the entire school system. UNRWA is continuing its
special training programmes, mainly attended by women, on the feeding of
nutritionally vulnerable groups, including mothers and small children. 73 It
organizes women's and youth activities centres, modest activity programmes for
pre-school children, youth and women, a welfare counselling service and adult
craft training courses. 74 The UNRWA relief programme is mainly concentrated
on the most needy among the refugee population, including widows and orphans.
Supplementary feeding is provided for young children, pregnant women and
nursing mothers, environmental sanitation is provided and families in special
need are given help in repairing their houses. 75

79. UNESCO plays an important role in education, and shares with UNRWA the
task of preparing school curricula and programmes (as well as teacher training
and vocational training) for the entire school system. It is continuing to
second 20 specialists (men and women) to the UNRWA/UNESCO Education Department
to plan and supervise the operation of schools and technical and vocational
training centres situated on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. 76 Steps
have been taken to ensure the effective implementation of resolution 14.1 on
educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories,
adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its twenty-first session in
1983, to help the population of these territories to exercise their right to
education and culture. 77 In view of the specific role of Palestinian women
in the preservation of the national tradition and heritage, it is of special
relevance for them.

80. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) provides its major
assistance, comprising health services, vocational and pre-school training, to
mothers and children.

81. WHO contributes to the organization of health services, especially in the
field of professional training and preventive and curative courses and
activities. WHO is also responsible for the technical supervision of the
UNRWA health services and provides six senior staff who manage the services.
Traditionally, WHO also studies the health conditions of the inhabitants of
the occupied territories, drawing the attention of the international community
in its annual report to the possibilities of improving those conditions.

82. UNDP has developed several projects related to the promotion of
pre-primary, technical, vocational and higher education, as well as assistance
to primary and secondary education in the Gaza Strip and training programmes
in agricultural development. The two projects on women's institutions and
children's institutions are of special interest to women. 78 Its future
programme of assistance also foresees the training of specialists in glass and
ceramic engineering technology and assistance to women's institutions. In
accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1983/43 and General
Assembly resolution 38/145, UNDP has set up a Special Programme of Assistance
to the Palestinian People, which is centred in the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip. 79

83. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) provides
in its 1983 report entitled "Palestine: options for development" a broad
evaluation of the potential for and constraints on the economic and social
development of Palestinian people in the occupied territories and directives
for the comprehensive survey on this subject (TD/B/960). Pursuant to
resolution 146 (VI) of 2 July 1983, adopted by the General Conference of
UNCTAD at its sixth session, 80 the UNCTAD secretariat is setting up a
special economic unit to monitor and investigate the policies of the Israeli
occupying authorities hampering the economic development of the occupied
Palestinian territories.

84. The International Labour Office designated an expert who participated in
the preparation of a project designed to promote the vocational training
opportunities offered by Palestinian women's institutions and community
development centres. The project identified the following objectives to be
pursued: technical assistance for the development and marketing of handicraft
products, the evaluation of the social service needs of the community
development centres, the granting of fellowships in the fields of
administration, social work, community development and vocational training,
the promotion of basic education programmes and the acquisition of
income-producing skills. The International Labour Office indicated its
willingness to collaborate with UNDP in elaborating project documents
concerning the provision of suitable assistance to Palestinian women in its
spheres of competence, such as the promotion of long-term vocational training
facilities at more advanced levels (technical schools for girls on the West
Bank), the promotion of vocational training courses in income-producing skills
(at the elementary and intermediate levels), the reinforcement and expansion
of the educational activities of the best organized and most effective women's
organizations and support of handicraft production activities experiencing
difficulties or threatened with disappearance. 81

85. In the context of its programme of work and priorities for 1983/84 the
Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA) carried out numerous activities
related to the situation of Palestinian people, including publication of
summary data for 1983, reflecting among other things, demographic changes in
the occupied territories. The Commission is also preparing a study on food
security in the occupied territories, which deals with the development of food
production and consumption on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip since the
Israeli occupation, in order to recommend the ways of promoting food
production and raising nutritional standards under prevailing conditions. 82

86. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United
Nations Industrial Development Organization, and the Commission on Human
Rights have also mentioned in various reports the assistance they are
providing to Palestinian women.
Notes

1 Report of the World Conference of the International Women's Year,
Mexico City, 19 June-2 July 1975 (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.76.IV.1), chap. III, resolution 32.

2 Report of the World Conference of the United Nations Decade for
Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Copenhagen, 14-30 July 1980 (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.80.IV.3 and corrigendum), chap. I, sect. A.

3 Ibid., para. 244.

4 United Nations Development Programme, "Inter-Agency Task Force on
Assistance to the Palestinian People" (New York, 1979), p. 9.

5 "Living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied
Palestinian territories: report of the Secretary-General"
(A/39/233-E/1984/79), paras. 103-104.

6 Government of Israel, Decrease of the Israeli Defence Force Command
in the West Bank (7 June 1967).

7 "Effects of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian women inside and
outside the occupied territories: social and economic conditions of the
Palestinian women", paper prepared for the World Conference of the United
Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Copenhagen,
Denmark, 14-30 July 1980 (A/CONF.94/21).

8 "Living conditions of the Palestinian people ..."
(A/39/233-E/1984/79), para. 91.

9 Ibid., paras. 121, 123 and 125.

10 Report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of
the Palestinian People to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session
(Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement
No. 35 (A/38/35)), para. 20.

11 Ibid., para. 19.

12 United Nations, Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank
(including Jerusalem): their Nature and Purpose (1984), part two, pp. 24, 27.

13 "Living conditions of the Palestinian people ..."
(A/39/233-E/1984/79), para. 48.

14 Ibid., para. 107.

15 Report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of
the Palestinian People to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session
(Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement
No. 35 (A/38/35)), para 27.

16 Ibid., para. 47.

17 Matar Ibrahim, "Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip", Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. XI, No. 1 (autumn 1981), pp. 9-12;
and "Living conditions of the Palestinian people ..." (A/39/233-E/1984/79),
para. 79.

18 Ibid., paras. 64 and 107.

19 Ibid., paras. 110, 111.

20 Ibid., para. 21.

21 Ibid., para. 115; and report of the Committee on the Exercise of the
Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to the General Assembly at its
thirty-eighth session (Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-eighth
Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/38/35)), para. 30.

22 Mattar Ibrahim, loc. cit.; "Report of the Secretary-General on the
permanent sovereignty over national resources in the occupied Palestinian and
other Arab territories" (A/39/326-E/1984/111).

23 Ibid.

24 Letter dated 22 March 1983 from the Chairman of the Committee on the
Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to the
Secretary-General (A/38/122-S/15653).

25 Report of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian
People to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session (Official Records
of the General Assembly, Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/38/35)),
para. 39.

26 Report of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian
People to the General Assembly at its thirty-fifth, thirty-sixth and
thirty-seventh sessions (Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-fift
Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/35/35); ibid., Thirty-sixth Session, Supplement
No. 35 (A/36/35); ibid., Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/37/35)).

27 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly a
its thirty-seventh session (Official Records of the General Assembly,
Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/37/13)), para. 68.

28 Ibid., para. 56.

29 "Living conditions of the Palestinian people ..." (A/39/233-E/1984/79
para. 24.

30 Ibid., para. 13.

31 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth session (Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/39/13)), para. 156.

32 United Nations, "Palestinian children in the occupied territories"
(1981), p. 22.

33 "Living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied
Palestinian territories: report of the Secretary-General" (A/38/278-E/1983/77)
paras. 44-81; ibid. (A/37/238), paras. 48-51; ibid. (A/39/233-E/1984/79),
para. 102.

34 TEAM/SD1/WP8, pp. 29-30.

35 Ibid., p. 84.

36 Ibid., p. 87.

37 Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1982,
p. 758; TEAM/SD1/WP8, pp. 29-30.

38 "Review of the economic conditions of the Palestinian people in the
occupied Arab territories" (UNCTAD document TD/B/870), para. 84.

39 "Living conditions of the Palestinian people ..." (A/37/238),
paras. 50-51.

40 "Review of the economic conditions of the Palestinian people in the
occupied Arab territories" (TD/B/870), para. 16; "Effects of the Israeli
occupation on Palestinian women inside and outside the occupied
territories ...", paras. 74-76.

41 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly on
its thirty-ninth session (Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-ninth
Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/39/13)), paras. 72 and 73.

42 Ibid., para. 67.

43 United Nations Development Programme, op. cit.

44 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly
at its thirty-ninth session (Official Records of the General Assembly,
Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/39/13)), para. 73.

45 Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1982,
p. 776; and UNESCO, Pre-school Education in the Arab World (Beirut, Unebas,
(1981).

46 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly
at its thirty-ninth session (Official Records of the General Assembly,
Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/39/13)), para. 13.

47 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the
Near East/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,
Department of Education, Statistical Abstract (Vienna, 1982), p. 77.

48 "Implementation of 21c/resolution 14.1 concerning educational and
cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories", General Conference of
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,
Twenty-second session, Paris, 1983 (22c/18 Add.1 and 2).

49 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the
Near East/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,
Department of Education, Statistical Yearbook, 1982-1983, table 90, p. 135.

50 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the
Near East, "Assistance to Palestine refugee women", pp. 1-2; Report of the
Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly at its
thirty-ninth session (Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-ninth
Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/39/13)), para. 164.

51 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly
at its thirty-seventh session (Official Records of the General Assembly,
Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/37/13)), para. 58.

52 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly
at its thirty-eighth session (Official Records of the General Assembly,
Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/38/13)), para. 165.

53 WHO document A/37/13.

54 "Living conditions of the Palestinian people ..."
(A/39/233-E/1984/79), para. 120.

55 WHO document A/37/13, p. 5.

56 Ibid.; Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief
and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth session (Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/39/13)), para. 134.

57 WHO document A/37/13, p. 7.

58 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the
Near East, Annual Report of the Director of Health, 1983, para. 92.

59 Ibid., para. 94.

60 Ibid., paras. 54-62.

61 Ibid., para. 33.

62 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth session (Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/39/13)), para. 108.

63 Ibid., para. 112.

64 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the
Near East, Annual Report of the Director of Health, 1982, pp. 10-12, 36-40.

65 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the
Near East, Annual Report of the Director of Health, 1983, para. 48.

66 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth session (Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/39/13)).

67 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the
Near East, Annual Report of the Director of Health, 1983, para. 40.

68 Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session (Official Records of the General Assembly,
Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/38/13)), paras. 54-55.

69 Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1982, pp. 744, 747.

70 "Living conditions of the Palestinian people ..." (A/39/233-
E/1984/79), paras. 58 and 63.

71 Report of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine,
Geneva, 29 August-7 September 1983 (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.83.I.21), chap. I, sect. A.

72 Ibid., sect. B.

73 "Assistance to the Palestinian people; report of the Secretary-General"
(A/39/265-E/1984/77), para. 39.

74 Ibid., para. 37.

75 Ibid., para. 44.

76 Ibid., para. 61.

77 Ibid., para. 62.

78 "Programme implementation assistance to the Palestinian people:
report of the Administrator" (UNDP document DP/1982/18).

79 "Assistance to the Palestinian people: report of the
Secretary-General" (A/39/265-E/1984/77), para. 32.

80 Proceedings of the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development, Sixth Session, vol. I, Report and Annexes (United Nations
publication, Sales No. E.83.II.D.6), annex VI.

81 "Assistance to the Palestinian people ...", para. 47.

82 Ibid., paras. 8 and 10.



Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter