(JNS.org) In Friday’s annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Israel was the only country the commission criticized for alleged women’s rights violations.
A CSW report titled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” criticizes Israel for what it calls “high levels of unemployment and poverty” among Palestinian women due to Israel’s control over territories including the West Bank, Gaza, and eastern Jerusalem. (Gaza is governed by the Hamas terrorist group.)
“Palestinian women and girls still face significant obstacles in accessing basic services, health care, psychosocial support, water and sanitation, justice institutions, and economic opportunities,” the report said.
Noting that Israel was the only U.N. member criticized by CSW, Israel’s Foreign Ministry slammed the report, saying it was “fighting the decision, which was yet another testimony to the hypocrisy of U.N. members,” Ynet reported.
The report ignores Hamas, which has routinely violated women’s rights in recent years, including a move to ban women from participating in the Gaza marathon, barring women from riding motorbikes, and banning women from smoking water pipes in cafes. Meanwhile, human rights groups have also demanded that Palestinian leaders pass new laws to protect women from honor killings amid their upsurge in Palestinian society.
Anne Bayefsky, who serves as director at the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, slammed the U.N. commission in an op-ed for targeting Israel while ignoring more egregious violations of women’s rights in the Middle East.
“Not Syria. Where government forces routinely employ rape and other sexual violence and torture against women as a tactic of war. Not Saudi Arabia. Where women are physically punished if not wearing compulsory clothing. Not Sudan. Where domestic violence is not prohibited. There is no minimum age for ‘consensual’ sex. Not Iran. Where every woman who registered as a presidential candidate in the last election was disqualified,” Bayefsky wrote.