Today (26.10), more than women's rights organizations have issued a letter that calls on UN Women and other UN agencies to condemn the atrocious acts of Hamas, act urgently to protect the humanitarian rights of the women and children who were abducted by Hamas, and bring about the immediate release of all hostages. The letter has been signed by women's rights organizations from Israel, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Australia, the UK, Ukraine, Chile, Romania, India, and Mexico.
"It is inconceivable that a UN agency that is responsible for women’s rights is ignoring the hostages captured and held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the murder of hundreds of innocent people including babies, children, women and elderly."
"We strongly implore UNWomen – and all other human rights agencies – to gravely condemn the brutal attack and atrocities committed by Hamas to Israeli citizens as well as the abduction of innocent hostages, to urgently act to protect the special humanitarian rights of women and children, and to do everything in their power to expose and recognize these atrocious and horrific acts of violence against women and girls and to bring the release of all hostages immediately."
One month after October 7th we issued another letter addressed to UNWOMEN and other UN agencies signed by women's organizations from Israel and around the world.
As evidence of the atrocities come to light, we learn about the horror of the gender-based war crimes that Hamas committed in this attack. During the attack, Hamas has released numerous horrific visuals and live videos of its brutal crimes, including videos of acts of torture of innocent children and women, murder of babies, abuse of women’s bodies, violent rapes of young women, naked bodies of women dragged through the streets of Gaza, acts of violence towards children, kidnappings and killings in the most inhumane ways possible. In the interrogation room, terrorists captured by Israel disclosed that they were sent on this mission with an order to use rape as a tactic of war. Testimonies of survivors and rescue teams as well as evidence found confirms that young children and women were brutally raped and abused in their homes before being executed, young women were raped beside their friends’ dead bodies or were gang-raped as others were forced to observe.
We urge the international community, and UN agencies that regularly advocate for women and children to take action: Time is of the essence. We are extremely concerned about the hostages’ well-being. Until today, no international agency representative has visited any of the hostages. In view of the barbaric and heinous war crimes committed by the Hamas on October 7, we can only imagine what atrocities are being committed to these women, children, elderly, and men at this moment.