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Press Release: Second case of femicide in Gaza in less than a week: breakdown in rule of law requires focus on women’s rights

17-06-2021

At around 9:00 pm on Wednesday, 16 June 2021, the body of a 46-year-old woman was transferred to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. According to available information, the woman died after being hit in the head with a hard object during a family dispute in the home in Al-Sabra, Gaza City. As cases of feminicide in Gaza continue to grow, Al Mezan recalls that violence against women is a human rights violation, requiring that authorities support women’s rights while combatting its causes and consequences, including poverty, the breakdown of the rule of law and the pernicious effects of belligerent occupation.

 

In an online statement from Gaza’s Ministry of Interior, it was revealed that a family meeting to determine the allocation of an inheritance turned violent and some family members climbed onto the roof of the house and started throwing stones, ultimately fatally hitting the woman. Some suspects were arrested and are still in custody pending further investigation.

 

Al Mezan continues to collect data and to research gender related killings of women in the Gaza Strip. According to our documentation, this is the second case of femicide in less than a week and the fifth in the Gaza Strip in 2021. Another twenty women suffered injuries and required hospitalization in gender-based violence-related incidents.

 

At the height of the pandemic—which is still spreading in the Gaza Strip amid desperate health and humanitarian circumstances—the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Dubravka Šimonovic, said “[a]s the world grapples with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impact on women, a pandemic of femicide and gender-based violence against women is taking the lives of women and girls everywhere.”[1] Restrictive measures, increased food insecurity and unemployment, and the effects of full-scale military attacks on the population of 2 million, continue to weigh heaviest on women.

 

Al Mezan insists that the causes and consequences of femicide and violence against women must be addressed, in addition to individual incidents being treated as criminal acts, without any justifications of extenuating circumstances due to sex that undermine justice for victims and promote recurrence.  

 

To this end, Al Mezan reiterates its calls for the competent authorities to address femicide and all homicides equally, and to implement effective policies and strategies to address all forms of violence, particularly gender-based violence in the Gaza Strip. Al Mezan calls on the competent Palestinian authorities to fully comply with all necessary legal proceedings against the perpetrators for such cases. This must be done while also maintaining strict compliance with due process rights.


[1] UN Special Procedures, “Urgent action needed to end pandemic of femicide and violence against women, says UN expert”, 23 Nov 2020. Available at: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26533&LangID=E

Tags / #women #civil and political