ZI 21.10.23 Women and children most at risk in armed conflicts

Women and children most at risk in armed conflicts

There have been horrific reports of murderer, kidnapping and rapes of members of civil society in Israel, especially of women and girls. As often in conflicts, this leads to an escalation of hate and violence and even more innocent civilians get involved and are suffering as a result, as we currently see in Gaza. In such armed conflicts, women and children are often the most adversely affected.

Zonta International condemns all attacks on innocent members of civil society and condemns all forms of violence in conflicts. There is no justification for such acts of inhumanity.

According to UNFPA, there are currently 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza who are unable to access essential health services, 5,500 of whom are due to give birth in the next month. That equates to 166 births per day taking place without access to healthcare or clean water. Zonta International joins UN Secretary-General António Guterres in calling for rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza to ensure that all civilians, especially women and children, have access to essential supplies and healthcare services.

Zonta calls, per UN Security Council Resolution 1325, on all parties to “respect fully international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls, especially as civilians.” UN Security Resolution 1325 further “calls on all parties to armed conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, and all other forms of violence in situations of armed conflict.”

For more actions you can take to advocate for women and girls in conflict situations, please refer to Zonta International’s Statement on Women’s Rights in Armed Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings.