Thursday, 20 August 2015

Women in Gaza: 'If we want to live here, we want to live in dignity'


From the Guardian - During the worst of the violence between Israel and Palestine last summer, Gaza student Hoda Elrayes shared her experiences of living on the frontline with GuardianWitness. One year on she tells us about three women in her community whose lives are still affected.

The conflict between Israel and Gaza last July has left the most acute humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip for decades. An international donors’ conference in Cairo last October raised $5.4bn (£3.4bn) to rebuild Palestine – however, according to a World Bank report in May, only a quarter of that sum has actually been delivered to those desperately in need.

Life for women in Gaza has never been easy but last summer’s escalation of violence has made the situation much worse for many. Over the last year I have have been in contact with three women whose lives were shattered – and I have approached the authorities in Gaza to find out the reasons why their situation has still not improved.

On the outskirts of Khuzaa, a farming village in the southern Gaza Strip that was destroyed during last summer’s conflict, a poster with pro-resistance slogans defiantly declares a self-proclaimed victory over Israel. Inside the village, young activists have decorated the caravans that have replaced the destroyed homes, with colourful spraypaint in an attempt to show the sheer force of will of the families now living in them. However, the reality is very different; after a year the resilience of residents here has been seriously reduced by the slow delivery of reconstruction. more

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