Expressing deep concern about the grave situation of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, resulting from Israeli occupation, the Economic and Social Council adopted a text today urging continued international attention to promote and protect their human rights, as well as intensified measures to improve their difficult conditions.
By a recorded vote of 24 in favour to 3 against (Australia, Canada, United States), with 15 abstentions, the Council reaffirmed that occupation hindered Palestinian women's advancement, self-reliance and societal integration, and stressed the importance of increasing their decision-making in conflict prevention and resolution efforts. By other terms, the resolution called on Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes.
The resolution was one of three texts proposed for the Council's adoption by the Commission on the Status of Women, in its report on its fifty-fourth session, held on 13 March and 14 October 2009, and from 1 to 12 March 2010.
Ahead of the vote, Israel's delegate said the text “deliberately ignored” all challenges faced by Palestinian women, including domestic and gender-based violence, honour killings and Hamas' imposition of restrictions on their freedoms. An observer of Palestine said the draft reaffirmed the rights of Palestinian women living under 43 years of repression and he urged the Council to adopt the text.
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