A message from Lebanon

31 December 2008

Zoya Rouhana writes from Beirut:

Dear friends,

Women in the Arab countries have been desperately striving to achieve gender equality and overcome the results of hundreds of years of oppression. However, this struggle is rendered obsolete in the face of the escalating violence that some countries have been witnessing, particularly Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon.

Women's fight to achieve gender equality becomes futile when women's lives and the lives of their children and families are threatened, when their basic rights, the right to live, to be secure and to have access to the basic living needs, food, medication, and housing is violated.

It is very urgent for the global feminist movement which believes in eradicating all kinds of violence against women to take action and to exert pressure on all governments to force Israel to end the collective punishment, the massacres and the large scale violence and destruction that it is inflicting on the Palestinian population, especially in Gaza.

It is time for the human rights movement in general, and the women's movement in particular, to call for the immediate implementation of the UN resolutions related to finding a just and peaceful solution for the Palestinian people, especially those that call upon Israel to end its occupation of the Arab territories and give all the Palestinians their right in self-determination

Zoya Rouhana

Director, KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation

Beirut, Lebanon

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