Over 1,000 women met near Downing Street on Sunday to launch a new campaign drawing attention to the deafening silence of UN Women over the horrific violence against Israeli women and girls at the hands of Hamas terrorists.
That UN Women broke their silence the day before demonstrations were held in Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen, Geneva, Washington, Vancouver, Houston, Philadelphia, Madrid and London was telling, as their statement: “We unequivocally condemn the brutal attacks by Hamas on Israel on October 7….. and… We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence”. This came after UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said the abhorrent acts by Hamas will be “vigorously investigated.”
This was too little, too late for the angry protestors who gathered under the banner ‘@unwomen_forallwomen’ to shame the United Nations’ agency for gender equality and women’s empowerment for taking eight weeks to respond to the sexual abuse crimes committed in Israel.
As the global champion of women allegedly, UN Women launched its International Awareness Week for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, but still dragged its heels for almost a week before uttering a word of recognition about Israel.
The arrival of the global campaign, which addresses the double standards of UN Women, was marked in London and all cities with an installation of women dressed in black with orange tape across their mouths, though there was no silencing the speakers on Sunday, among them Conservative Cllr and Deputy Chairman of West Midlands Region Mattie Heaven, who is the wife of Vahid Beheshti who went on a hunger strike against the UK government’s lack of understanding of the risks posed by Iran.
The other speakers were academic Dr Chloe Pinto, Reverend Hayley Ace, Co founder of the Christian Action Against Antisemitism and Social activist Nimco Ali, OBE, Co-founder and CEO of The Five Foundation and Laura Marks of the Jewish Women’s Alliance.
Passionate, informed and critical of UN Women, they were joined on the podium by Dame Maureen Lipman and Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, deputy mayor of Jerusalem, who came directly from the airport to express her concern about the fight to get justice for Israel’s women.
I also spoke at the protest as I felt compelled to do so after writing about the horror experienced by the victims on October 7 and then listening to the testimony of a woman who dealt with the identification and burial of the murdered and mutilated females at the morgue.
I had never spoken at a rally before, but overwhelmed by frustration and fury I had to speak out after being invited to do so by two of the organisers, Orit Eyal Fibeesh and Odelia Haroush.
There were many Jewish events last weekend and the size of our community meant many could not attend the launch of UN Women. But many did, shouted “shame” and showed their support for a cause that unites all women. And there were men present too, some of whom told me how moved they had been and how important powerful words are at this awful time. My husband Neil Gold was there and helped to hone my speech and my daughter Madison wept at the unfairness of a hideous situation that sees the pain and harm of Jewish women go unrecognised.
Sadly – and wrongly – there were no TV News channels present to capture the demonstration. There should have been, and I would like to know why? But for those who did not come and would like to be sent the speeches, email me firstname.lastname@example.org for the full speeches and be sure to listen to every word and pass them on.
Visit https://unwomen.me UN Women’s own site which addresses the crimes endured by Israeli women. It features testimonies of the massacre and the severe violence against women, comment and analysis and data currently absent from the official UN Women site.
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