Gender Based Violence and Climate change during War

Gender Based Violence and Climate change during War

Gender Based Violence and Climate change during War

By: Ms Hana Kirreh

Climate change can have a tremendous effect on humanity and worsens the conditions of people living under occupation; it increases the risks of poverty and inequality. Climate change including increase in temperature, lowers availability of water resources and long-term incremental changes in rainfall patterns in addition to extreme weather events such as drought that leads to changes in ecosystems, and have important gender-differentiated impacts on all aspects of human livelihoods, activities and health. War is associated with increased prevalence and risk of gender-based violence. Women and children are the most vulnerable to be affected by environmental hazards as a result of war.

It is obvious all over the world that women and girls are particularly vulnerable in times of war. During conflict, existing inequalities are noticed more and more, infrastructure and social relations are broken down, and human rights are at risk.

During the ongoing aggression on Gaza in October, Women and children are affected in many ways, including food insecurity, displacement, and disrupted access to reproductive and health care and personal hygiene.

Many women and children were obliged to evacuate their homes and to flee from air strikes, they had to travel longer distances to reach an alleged secure shelter. Women and children are living under severe conditions of pollution, unhygienic conditions, corpses are everywhere in plain sight of women and children and all. Everyone is obliged to breathe the decomposition smell of the unburied corpses, the accumulated trash, the dust that results from airstrikes and the internationally prohibited weapons such as white phosphorus that can have health problems in the long run. Children are traumatized more by their family separation than by the bombings they survived.

Through this war, vulnerable women who suffer from food insecurity are pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. pregnant and breastfeeding mothers were acutely malnourished. Many women were bombed while having birth, thus leaving their dear infants to face the injustice from their very first minute to come to the world. Other infants died because of lack of oxygen and milk .

Gaza women use period-delaying pills amid the Israel war because there is a huge lack of menstrual hygiene products such as sanitary pads.

Tablets used to delay periods can cause negative side effects but without access to water and hygiene products, women in Gaza say they have no choice but to use them.

Water shortages and sanitation problems cause particularly acute problems for children, increasing the incidence of water-borne diseases among family members. The impact of climate change on food security including availability and accessibility will also be affecting children development and growth. Development and implementation of policies and interventions that affect the underlying determinants of their health should receive special attention.

Women and children and all citizens of all ages are facing displacement, overcrowded living conditions, and a lack of access to water; inadequate water supplies, either in quantity or quality, may increase risk of waterborne illnesses, such as diarrhea, typhoid, hepatitis and more infectious diseases.

On the other hand, in the West Bank and Jerusalem, it is becoming difficult for women to travel from one city to another or from one village to another. Many women are exposed to humiliating searches by Israeli soldiers. Even women farmers who have been in the fields harvesting olives have been exposed to settlers’ attacks. Moving from the West Bank to Jerusalem and vice versa is very very difficult and thus causing many women and men to lose their jobs and separating families.

All this is done against international laws and the international humanitarian law and in violation of signed conventions such as United Nation Resolution 1325 and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

I pray that this war will end soon and justice, dignity, respect and peace are given to women, children and all Palestinian people. I believe that bloodshed only leads to more bloodshed and violence cycle of violence will never come to an end. Let us pray for justice, security and serenity. Palestinian women and children deserve to live in dignity and equality.