Skicka-kärlekshjärtat1-ENG_web.jpg

Support women activists in Palestine and Israel!

2012-11-23

Women in Gaza still need our support – As do those who stood by them and spoke out against the violence!

The recent days’ indiscriminate and disproportionately violent Israeli bomb raids over Gaza as well as Palestinian militant rocket attacks against civilian Israeli targets have caused disarray, broken families and significant damage to houses and infrastructure in Gaza. Casualties have been noted on both sides but the death toll in Gaza (163) and the wounded (1225) far exceeds that on the Israeli side.

Women in Gaza have stated during the attacks that they want their daily lives back. Now that the bombing has seized, a new phase of rebuilding their daily lives, their families and their homes will start. In many families there have been losses, casualties and all people of Gaza have lived in fear, enormous stress and sleeplessness. On the Israeli side women’s human rights defenders have incessantly been demonstrating and in other ways trying to speak up against the escalation of violence.

Women's organizations work crucial

A truce was agreed on the 21 November. Gaza has been greatly affected by the siege, the destruction of the whole strip and the loss of lives. Not to forget that the political division between Fatah and Hamas have harmed all Palestinians and weakened their stand. In fact, women in Gaza have long demonstrated on the streets of Gaza, and the West Bank, in order to put an end to the political division between Fatah and Hamas and against the occupation and siege. Reconciliation, geographically and politically, is a precondition for a sustainable peace for all Palestinian people. The political split has worked against peace, as it has brought people further away from a two state solution. It has also divided families, changing the social fabric of Gaza, not least as many members of Fatah have had to move away.

Women’s organizations and women’s human rights activists in Gaza and in the West Bank are working hard to combat violence against women, to increase participation of women in the public sphere and in politics as well as eliminating all forms of discrimination against women. This work is crucial for a just and sustainable peace and for the future of Palestine.

Kvinna till Kvinna works with women’s organizations in several countries in the Middle East, in the Balkans, in Caucasus and in Africa. In the summer of 2012 we elaborated a campaign to boost and support the women’s rights activists that we work with in several countries. This campaign is aimed at recognizing the woman’s human rights defenders daily work for social change and peace.

The lovebombing-campaign

Every day, women's human rights defenders defy social norms and traditions. By their work of demanding their rights and challenging the prevailing power structure they are often subject to threats. The threats do not only come from repressive regimes and religious leaders, but also from their own communities and family members.

In the wake of a fragile truce, we have now launched this campaign again, highlighting the women of Gaza and those who stood by them in protest against the violence. We have changed the method slightly in that we do not call it Love bombing anymore. The women in Gaza and Israel have had enough of bombs and we are hoping that the truce will last and lead to a more sustainable situation. Now the crucial period of rebuilding starts and the women of Gaza need a lot of support to deal with the traumatic experiences from the past week. Therefore we have chosen to use the symbol of love letters to send women a token of the recognition that they deserve.

To show your solidarity and send a love letter, follow these steps:

1.Change your profile picture on Facebook to our love letter heart. You can find it on our Facebook page.

2. Write a personal message to women in Gaza or to the Israeli women’s human rights defenders that have been actively working to end the violence. Send your letter of support to anna.bjorkman@kvinnatillkvinna.se. We will send your messages to our partner organizations in Palestine and Israel. You can write in Swedish, English or Arabic – we will translate all messages we receive to English and Arabic.

3. If you have a Swedish mobile phone, you can also send your love and support by texting LOVE to no. 72980, then you support Kvinna till Kvinna's work for peace in the region with 50 Swedish kronor.

4. Keep sharing this among your friends and networks!

Thank you for your support!