Social and Economic Situation of Palestinian Women and Girls

Type Report
Title Social and Economic Situation of Palestinian Women and Girls
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Publisher United Nations
City New York
Country/State USA
In accordance with Economic and Social Council Resolution 2003/42 on the situation of and
assistance to Palestinian women, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
(ESCWA) issues periodic reports on the status of women and girls in Palestine, which provide
a comprehensive overview of progress made and challenges faced in the advancement of the political, social,
economic and human rights of Palestinian women and girls. The reports draw on statistics collected by the
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and on the findings of national and international
organizations and United Nations agencies, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
(UNRWA), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
The present report reviews the status of women and girls in Palestine over the period July 2012 - June
2014, outlining positive developments in and significant challenges for gender equality. The first chapter
presents the political situation in Palestine during the reporting period and the impact of the ongoing Israeli
occupation on women’s rights. It shows that, as a result of gender discrimination, women are particularly
susceptible to poverty and suffering brought about by periodic escalations of violence. The chapter also
describes relevant political developments in the State of Palestine and analyses their implications for women,
including General Assembly resolution 67/19 that grants Palestine non-member observer State status in the
United Nations. Given the extent of the devastation caused by the 50-day military offensive launched against
the Gaza Strip by Israel in July 2014, a brief update of this operation is provided although it occurred just
after the close of the reporting period.
The second chapter sets out the demographic and socioeconomic factors, including poverty and food
security, that affect the lives of women and girls in Palestine. Since a blockade was imposed by Israel on
Gaza in 2007, the population has struggled to survive. The effective closure of the tunnel economy by Egypt
in July 2013 pushed households further into economic insecurity, with young women hardest hit by the
ongoing employment crisis. The resulting food, fuel and electricity crises have exacerbated women’s
vulnerability, forcing them to stretch their coping strategies to the limit. Meanwhile, the livelihoods of
Palestinians in the West Bank continue to be negatively impacted by restrictions on the movement of people
and goods as a result of checkpoints, the construction of an extensive system of walls and the strict permit
regime imposed by Israel on Palestinians seeking to move between Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and
Israel. Women in the West Bank’s Israeli-controlled Area C, Hebron and East Jerusalem tend to be affected
the most by the adverse impacts of movement restrictions, including limited access to health services.

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