Publish date21 Jun 2024 - 9:21
Story Code : 639892

UN Women Representative: Israel's war in Gaza is a 'war on women'

Following a week-long visit to Gaza, Maryse Guimond, the Special Representative of the UN Women Office in Palestine, has described the Israeli war in Gaza as a "war on women," citing the alarming number of female casualties resulting from ongoing Israeli airstrikes.
UN Women Representative: Israel
"I returned from Gaza yesterday; this was my first visit to the region since the start of the war. The last time I was there was on October 4," Guimond stated.
She continued, "We have been watching the war on television for nine months. We have a team in Gaza and partners we have been in contact with, but I don’t think that gives us the full reality until you find yourself surrounded by the devastation the war has caused from the moment you enter the Strip."
Guimond noted that women in Gaza frequently asked her when the war would end and when they could return to their homes, despite many homes being destroyed.
She pointed out that "women in Gaza face daily challenges in accessing basic services and bear the additional burden of caring for children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, whose numbers have increased due to the war."
Guimond also discussed the efforts by UN Women to support women in Gaza and the women-led organizations in Gaza, which she said play a "crucial role in supporting the community and its resilience."
Despite the difficult conditions, these organizations continue to provide vital services, including psychosocial support, Guimond added.
"It's hard to forget passing through parts of Khan Younis that were affected by the destruction. You see devastation everywhere, people living in some of the ruined buildings, and in the streets trying to get food or water," she said.
Guimond spoke about the "vast areas of tents and highly overcrowded temporary shelters," noting that "the Gaza Strip covers 365 square kilometers and is home to more than 2.2 million people, now witnessing displacement to an even smaller area than ever before."
She confirmed that "entire families have been wiped out in some Israeli airstrikes, and everyone I met had extremely harrowing stories."
"While wars clearly affect all members of society, we have rarely seen this level of killing and injuring of women," Guimond concluded.
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