War on Gaza: where everyone is left behind

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL2.GPID/2023/Policy brief.5

Country: State of Palestine

Publication Type: Policy briefs

Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development

Focus Area: Inclusive development, Population dynamics & migration

Initiatives: Women, peace and security, Women’s rights and gender mainstreaming, Realizing the rights of persons with disabilities

SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Keywords: War, War victims, Territories occupied by israel, Military occupation, Violence, Blockade, Female-headed households, Women in armed conflicts, Maternal and child health, Girls, Persons with disabilities, Humanitarian assistance, Peacebuilding, Civilian persons, Palestinians, Sustainable development, Childbirth

War on Gaza: where everyone is left behind

November 2023

The protracted blockade on Gaza, coupled with consecutive offensives, has resulted in perpetual de-development and an ongoing humanitarian crisis that have condemned the population of Gaza, including women, girls and persons with disabilities, to be left behind. Military escalations in Gaza are becoming exponentially deadlier over time, as evidenced by the unprecedented violence of the October 2023 war. This has led to an unprecedented deterioration in the situation of vulnerable groups, who are in a severely disadvantaged position compared with other women, children and persons with disabilities in the Arab region and globally.

Even if the war were to end today, Gaza will never be the same again. Life-saving action is urgently needed for Gazan civilians. Humanitarian aid must flow into Gaza unconditionally, and in strict accordance with international law. A comprehensive and inclusive sustainable development plan is needed that only prioritizes inclusive and sustainable outcomes, but also the specific challenges faced by vulnerable groups and marginalized communities in Gaza. Women must be at the centre of all peacebuilding processes. They should have seats at the negotiating table and lead the dialogue for peacemaking. 

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