GIWPS Calls for Women’s Leadership to Resolve Crisis in Israel, Gaza and West Bank

We have been watching the heartbreaking situation unfold in Israel and Gaza over the past month and considering how our organization can best engage. Like many of you, we urgently want to see the hostages released, and an end to the violence. Further, we decry the attacks being perpetrated in the West Bank and reiterate the need for accountability. It is absolutely critical that humanitarian aid be provided in Gaza, and that civilians be protected, as demanded under international humanitarian and human rights law. We welcome recent reports that progress is being made to release hostages and expand humanitarian access.
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is one of the world’s most intractable, and especially in this moment, peace seems elusive. Throughout the years, incredible women leaders have led important movements for peace and understanding. Nonetheless, they have been marginalized in efforts to broker peace. Going forward, women must play a central role in all humanitarian relief efforts, any negotiations, and all aspects of peacebuilding during and after violent conflict subsides. Though the prospect of a durable peace where Israelis and Palestinians live side by side, secure and prosperous, seems out of reach today, we must work towards that goal in partnership with women peacebuilders.

GIWPS has been working on establishing a new Middle East and North Africa initiative with a plan to focus on several crises in the region. Ahead of the launch of this initiative, we are beginning to expand relationships with Palestinian and Israeli women leaders, and we will be engaging in informal and off-the-record conversations. We will be guided in our efforts by women on the ground who know best what would be most helpful. We will amplify their voices to inform US and global policy, as we have approached our work in other conflicts from Afghanistan to Myanmar to Ukraine.

GIWPS’ mission of creating a more peaceful, equitable, and just world means that we do not give up in the face of adversity. Our work has taken on new urgency and we must redouble our efforts.

Thank you for your continued interest in the work of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. We will update you as we develop our partnerships and plans moving forward.
This statement was last updated on November 22, 2023.