Women and Children in Gaza endure displacement, shattered lives, and dreams left tragically unfulfilled

14,128 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, with 70% of them being women and children according to the Gaza health minister.

Women and children are the most vulnerable during conflicts; it increases the risk to their safety and well-being. Conflicts have a long-lasting impact on the psychological or physiological conditions of women, consequently, premature births are prevalent during wartimes.

14,128 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, with 70% of them being women and children according to the Gaza health minister. 420 Palestinian children are killed or injured every day in Gaza. During this conflict, 1.7 million people have been displaced out of which 800,000 women have been incorporated. 50,000 of them have been pregnant in these horrible circumstances and 5.500 women are expected to give birth this month. How they can reach hospitals in a war zone? 

Some women are reportedly being forced to have C-section deliveries without any anesthesia. Because of the lack of capacity in hospitals, women are discharged after a few hours. Women in Gaza even can’t acquire basic needs, both women and children are fighting to survive. Israel’s persistent assault on the reproductive rights of women is alarming. 

According to The United Nations Population Fund, formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), 572,000 women and girls are in dire need of reproductive health services. Women in Gaza, are taking pills to stop the menstruation ascribable to the lack of sanitary and unhygienic conditions. It will lead to hormonal problems for women. When the war started women pondered the idea of stocking sanitary pads even before food, experiencing menstruation during such times could be a nightmare and distress situation.

According to the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Convention of 1949, all the states are obliged to guarantee the protection of women and children. The advocates of international law and human rights are now supporting Israel, seemingly deaf to the anguished voices of women and children in Gaza. Each day, these individuals wake up with the looming fear that the next bomb could target their homes. 

The United Nations, created by European states to make the world more harmonious and stable after two devastating wars, unfortunately, has completely failed to maintain peace in Gaza or resolve the humanitarian crisis. 

The enduring rivalry between Israel and Palestine began after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The animosity between these two is deeply rooted in cultural, historical, and identical factors. In the 19th century, a Zionist movement started advocating for a separate homeland for Jews. The League of Nations mandated the British government empire to control the lands of the Palestinian people after the collapse of the ottoman empire. After the withdrawal of the British government from Palestine Israel declared its independence in 1948, and since then, this land has witnessed catastrophic events.

The Muslim world

There are 57 Muslim countries, and among them, one possesses nuclear weapons. Still, the Muslim world cannot stop the genocide in Gaza. The recent failure of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) can be attributed to collective action problems within the Muslim world. The Arab world is looking in their interest and OIC failed to prevent this war or effectively voice concerns in the international community. Pakistan, the only Muslim country having nuclear weapons indulged in its political affairs and has not been assertive enough in raising its voice. A significant humanitarian crisis will unfold in history if the Muslim world or international community doesn’t intervene or resolve this issue diplomatically. History always remembers those who are on the right side. 

Mahnoor Fatima
Mahnoor Fatima
The author is an International Relations student at the National University of Modern Languages, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She tweets @MahnoorFAwan