In October, 2014, the YWCA of Palestine convened an international conference on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.  Its closing statement began:

The conference is over and now begins the hard work of solidarity and action.  Over 300 women and men attended our three day international conference from September 29 to October 1 in Bethlehem, Palestine. About 100 internationals came from abroad and within Palestine representing 12 countries.  Our three days were filled with impassioned testimonies and speeches and images about Gaza, life under a military occupation, patriarchy and how all these intersect and impact women’s lives.”

In follow up, the YWCA has issued the following letter and call to action:

Dear Conference Participants, Partners, and Colleagues

 It feels just like few days ago when we convened the International Conference on UNSCR 1325 at end of 2014!!  It has been a very rich experience for us, and since then we have been doing so much locally to ensure that all that was discussed, recommended, aspired for, stays alive and is taken forward by women coalitions, human rights coalitions, organizations, activists and individuals!  

The Conference reminded us of the importance of UNSCR1325 to Palestinian women:

  • The Resolution stresses the responsibility of all states in putting an end to impunity and prosecuting those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

  • UNSCR1325 coincides with the agenda of the Palestinian women’s movement, as it combines the requirements of national liberation and women’s need to achieve a just and comprehensive peace, as well as women’s need for social progress and rights to enshrine values of democracy and equality.

  • UNSCR1325 is a platform that enables the Palestinian women’s movement to make its voice heard, demanding that the Security Council and the Secretary-General provide protection to Palestinian women from military occupation and its accompanying violence. Palestinian women can demand a fact finding mission to identify the reasons that obstruct the implementation of the Resolution in the State of Occupied Palestine based on UNSCR1325, the Palestinian women’s movement may propose programs, claims and initiatives for participation in civil peace and reconciliation efforts, through participating in the national unity dialogues, or an initiative for a special women track that holds dialogue for preserving the Palestinian social fabric.

I am very happy to enclose hereby the Conference Report and the video (as links).

1. The Full Conference Report: Women’s Freedom, Peace and Dignity in Palestine – UNSCR1325 for Accountability:  

2. The Film documentary on you-tube for the Conference

We Now Call on You to Act

Here is what you can do:

  • Support the Palestinian State to take the Israeli military leaders to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes; and to join the Rome Convention as well as its affiliation with the International Criminal Court (ICC);

  • Endorse the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions Movement as one way to hold Israel accountable for its gross violations of human rights and flagrant abuse of international law;

  • Call on your governments to implement all the UN Resolutions pertaining to Palestine, including UN Resolution 242, 338 and 194 all of which recognize the rights of return, right for statehood, sovereignty and freedom for Palestinians;

  • Support morally responsible investments in Palestine. As YWCA, we call on you to support our “Fabric of Our Lives Campaign” as a tool for empowering women in peace building as well as support her dignified livelihood and steadfastness 

  • Join us in commemorating the UN Day of Solidarity with Palestinians on November 29 and commemorating AL Nakba Day on May 15. Let us know how you want to do that, and we can support you.