Side Event for the 68th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 

Date & Time:

18-Mar-2024, 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM


Conference Room 12 – UN General Assembly Building

Duration of the event:

75 minutes

1) Event Summary:

The impacts of wars, conflicts and other disasters on women is multifaceted and often disproportionately severe. Women not only bear an excessive amount of the burden during and after such crises but also they have higher susceptibility to physical and psychological trauma, displacement, loss of livelihoods, increased risk of gender-based violence and long standing poverty and deprivation. Furthermore, the fact that they frequently take on more responsibilities as caregivers and community stabilizers emphasizes the critical need for all-encompassing support networks for women as well as gender-inclusive recovery and resilience-building practices. However, not all conflicts and struggles of women within have been taken by utmost importance and attention in global and international platforms for immediate action.

With this fact in mind, our event will focus on the situation of women in war and conflict zones and their impact on women, with a particular focus on the increasing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The situation has proved to be one of the unparalleled catastrophes of humanity. This thematic side event of the 68th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women will examine the different ways of representation and action in and on conflict zones and the impact of these discourses and conflicts in specific contexts. It will focus on the difficulties faced by Palestinian women, their struggle, braveness, and strength, which are mostly excluded and invisible in the narrative of representative women’s profiles.

2) Event Content:

Women are among the biggest victims of war, conflicts, and humanitarian crises in all age groups. The United Nations states that Palestinian women bear some of the heaviest burdens in the attacks on Gaza1. Palestinian women struggle with living conditions that fall well below the basic standards and survival needs and face profound challenges in various aspects of their lives. Their struggle is often disregarded because it is outside the mainstream feminist definition of action and is not considered within its acceptable parameters due to the context and ideological conflicts.

As stated by UNICEF, more than 25,000 people have been killed since 7 October, over 70% of them women. Half of the more than 2 million displaced Palestinians are women, who have no access to even daily basic needs2. Unfortunately, these numbers are increasing every day due to the continuous attacks. Under these unfavorable health conditions, babies are born into circumstances that often lead to death. In addition, according to UNICEF reports, two mothers are killed every hour, and hundreds of mothers suffer stillbirths every day. Even after losing their families, beloved ones, houses, and neighbors, women continue to fight for their lives and livelihoods.

During times of humanitarian crises, individuals have shown incredible resilience in the face of adversity. However, it is unfortunate that decision-makers and the international community have not always been able to respond adequately to these crises, which has resulted in further difficulties and violations of fundamental human rights. The Security Council resolutions are intended to promote a more peaceful world and improve the lives of all individuals. By implementing these decisions, people who previously faced significant challenges have the opportunity to fully participate in daily activities and lead more fulfilling lives, just like people in other countries.

Our event will feature discussions by activists, journalists, and experts on the impact of the prolonged facts in Palestine, particularly on women’s lives, their spirit of freedom, and strong resilience under these conditions. Panel discussions will also highlight how Türkiye and KADEM address these issues and the initiatives undertaken. Inspirational stories about women’s strategies, resilience, and practices in coping with such crises will be shared. This event aims to deepen participants’ understanding of the specific challenges faced by Palestinian women due to the prolonged occupation, emphasizing various ways of solidarity, coping mechanisms, and existence. Ultimately, it seeks to raise awareness globally for a more inclusive, ethical, and justice-based peacebuilding approach and definition of freedom and encourages participants to contribute to supporting this cause. 

Moderator: Fatih Er, Journalist


  • Feda Abdelhady – Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations (NY)
  • Zeina Azzam – Poet, Volunteer at We Are Not Numbers
  • Lina Birkawi – Founder of Lina’s Thobe
  • Karameh Kuemmerle – Medical Doctor, Co-founder of Doctors Against Genocide
  • Safa Salem – MD Candidate, co-founder of the American Foundation for Improving Arab Health (AFIAH)

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