In 1920, the World YWCA World’s Committee, meeting in Champery, Switzerland made the following Statement of Peace: The World’s YWCA, including as it does women of all nations, shall give itself to the development of public opinion on international questions such as shall strengthen all those forces which are working for the avoidance of war and the promotion of peace and better understanding among the nations.
Since then, YWCA has provided leadership in conflict and post-conflict spaces for over a century, and the global movement has adopted resolution after resolution toward a vision of peace and justice in homes, communities, countries, regions, and the world.
Many of those resolutions, over the decades, focused on conflict in the Middle East and the women and girls living under the Israeli Occupation. The statements acknowledged that all women in Palestine and all over the Middle East deserve to live a life free of oppression, fear, shock, and anger, and all people deserve a life that promises freedom and dignity. The Palestinian communities, especially women, face constantly escalating physical and psychological harassment, and forced displacement due to the confiscation of land and home demolitions, closures, mobility restrictions, and physical aggression. Tens of thousands of Palestinians lost their residency rights in Jerusalem because of the policies imposed by the Israeli Occupation. They face danger, harm, and uncertainty day after day. These realities of everyday life threaten the safety and security of millions of families, women, young women, and girls in the region.
Additionally, the external and escalating military aggression and expanding foreign occupation and aggression on the different countries in the Middle East continue to produce thousands of more refugees and displaced people, thus threatening world peace.
In 2015, World YWCA and its Member Associations agreed to pressure our respective governments to continue to work for ending the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, as well as all the wars and conflicts in the Middle East, with the objective of realising a just peace that will offer safety for all peoples in the region. They will guarantee the right of return for all refugees in the region, including implementing UN Resolution 194.
Further, ensure that the governments around the world who are receiving refugees from the Middle East comply with human rights standards and ensure the safety, security, and dignity of these refugees, especially women and girls
Further, demands that governments and the United Nations make human rights violators accountable and end impunity.
Further, to support YWCA leaders and member associations in the Middle East to develop women’s leadership so women can be engaged in peacebuilding.
World YWCA calls on the international community and governments to recognize the root cause of the unending situation and suffering: the Israeli Occupation. No people deserve to live under siege for 17 years and suffer such injustice.
YWCA has provided leadership in conflict and post-conflict spaces for over a century, and the global YWCA movement advocates for peace and justice in communities, countries, regions, and the world.
The YWCA movement stands in solidarity with the children and women of the Middle East, who are sure to be disproportionately negatively impacted*, including the YWCA Palestine community.
*The landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace, and Security recognizes that armed conflict affects women and children most adversely.
Monday, October, 9, 2023