Palestine: CODEPINK calls for Women’s Day 2009 to be dedicated to Women of Gaza

International Women’s Day is a time when people around the globe focus on the needs and contributions of women. This year, on Sunday, March 8, 2009, women and men worldwide will commemorate the day by highlighting the plight of the women of Gaza.
CODEPINK will send an international delegation to Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid. They ask you to show your support by becoming a sponsor (to help with outreach), making a donation and/or joining the March 5-11 International Women’s Delegation to Gaza.
The call to action is endorsed by 45 women's organizations and individuals including the National Congress of Black Women, Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, American Muslim Voice, author Alice Walker and journalist Laura Flanders. The four aid groups include: the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

With international pressure and the determination of the women in the delegation, CODEPINK is confident the Egyptian government will let the aid through.

"The Israeli attack came after 18 months of a crippling blockade that had already left the Palestinian population hungry, sick, weak, and suffering from a catastrophic situation," co-founder Medea Benjamin said. "We must not only provide massive humanitarian aid, but lift the blockade that is keeping the people of Gaza under siege."

For more information and interviews, please call Jean Stevens, CODEPINK media coordinator, at 508-769-2138 or Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, at 415-235-6517


The Israeli attack that began on December 27 left over 1,000 dead, including 412 children and 110 women, and over 5,000 injured (1855 children and 795 women), according to the United Nations Children's Fund. But that but that attack came after 18 months of a crippling blockade that had left the Palestinian population hungry, sick, weak, and already suffering from what UN officials called a catastrophic situation.

Women now have to care for the physical and emotional wounds in their families and communities. They have to attend to the physical needs of their families in the face of shortages of water, electricity, food, medicine, heat, fuel, and shelter. Some neighborhoods have been almost totally destroyed, with over 100,000 people displaced from their homes.

According to the United Nations, "Children are hungry, cold, without electricity and running water, and above all, they're terrified. Women are at greater risk of maternal death and or injury as maternity wards are being used as surgical facilities to treat the wounded.”