Gaza City, Palestine ,30 Jumadil Awwal 1437/ 9 Maret 2016 (MINA) – Millions of women from around the world marked International Women’s Day on Tuesday, but the occasion was a bitter moment in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian women in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.
“Women in Gaza suffer from tough economic and psychological conditions,” Haifa al-Agha, Palestinian Minister for Women’s Affairs, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday. “They are paying a heavy price for the decade-long Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.”
Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas swept the Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006.
The siege has worsened all aspects of livelihood in the Palestinian territory, home to around 1.9 million people.
Since the blockade was imposed, Israel has mounted three deadly offensives on the Gaza Strip, which left thousands of Palestinians dead.
In late 2014, Israel launched a 51-day onslaught on the seaside territory on claims of undermining the capability of Palestinian factions to fire rockets into Israel.
At least 2,322 Palestinians were killed, including 489 women, and around 11,000 injured, including 302 women, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
“Day by day, conditions of Palestinian women in Gaza are going from bad to worse,” Agha said.
According to the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, a Palestinian NGO, around 600 women have suffered miscarriages in the latest Israeli assault on Gaza.
Some 791 women lost their husbands during the Israeli war in addition to 34,697 others, who were evacuated from their homes, the NGO said.
Palestinian activist Mariam Abu Doka said that women are taking the full brunt of the Israeli blockade on Gaza.
“Gaza women are paying the heaviest price for wars and the blockade,” Abu Doka, a member of the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), told Anadolu Agency.
She appealed to the international community to provide help to Palestinian women.
“Every March 8, the wounds of women, who were detained, wounded or lost their husbands, are reopened,” she said.
On Tuesday, the Palestinian women union said that more than 63 percent of women in the Gaza Strip are unemployed.
In a statement, the union said that 2015 was the toughest year for Gaza women due to the decade-long blockade and Israeli assaults.
“Gaza women dream of living in peace without wars and tragedies” Abo Doka said.(T/hna/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic Newa Agency (MINA)