Economic and Social Council

WOM/1893


Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


Commission on the Status of Women

Fifty-sixth Session

6th & 7th Meetings (AM & PM)

SPEAKERS CALL FOR 'CRYSTAL CLEAR' PRIORITIES IN EFFORTS TO IMPROVE HEALTH,

 

PROTECT RIGHTS OF RURAL WOMEN, AS COMMISSION CONTINUES GENERAL DISCUSSION

 

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Background

The Commission on the Status of Women continued its sixty-fifth session this morning, returning to its general discussion on the priority theme — the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, sustainable development and current challenges.  For more information, see Press Release WOM/1889 of 24 February.

Statements

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MERVAT TALLAWY, President, National Council for Women of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, …

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…  Egypt also supported women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and its efforts to mediate between Palestine and Israel had resulted in the release of many women detained in Israeli prisons.

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RABHI DIAB, Minister for Women’s Affairs of Palestine, said that alongside serious development challenges such as the lack of overall funding for income-generating projects aimed at increasing productivity, Palestinian women faced an additional obstacle that surpassed many of them — the 45-year Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem.  Palestinian women bore the brunt of the occupation as well as the oppressive and destructive accompanying Israeli policy, she said, pointing to the serious deterioration of the social, economic, political and humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Listing “illegal practices” carried out by Israel, she said occupying forces prevented Palestinian women and their families from accessing land, markets and basic services.  It was well known that the most effective way to empower rural women was to enhance their control over their land and improve their ability to cultivate it, but the “sheer brutality” of Israel’s policies continued to degrade the environment, while ensuring its own continuing control over access to water resources.  “It has become quite clear that while Palestinian women build, the occupation continues to destroy; while Palestinian women cultivate, illegal settlers uproot and burn fields,” she said, stressing that through it all, Palestinian women had demonstrated strength and resilience.  For its part, the Palestinian leadership had undertaken many programmes that addressed policies relating to the rights and needs of women in order to change such laws for the better, she said.

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For information media • not an official record