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International Women’s Day: Leading UK charities and networks call for Ceasefire Now

8th March 2024

Ahead of International Women’s Day, several of the UK’s largest international aid charities and networks have joined together to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.

More than 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the horrific attack on 7th October. Over 70% percent of those killed in Gaza are women and children. 

Representatives of the charities gathered on the Millennium Bridge in London on Thursday 7th March with a floral wreath spelling out CEASEFIRE NOW.

The conflict has had a devastating effect on the lives and dignity of women and girls, whose specific needs are often overlooked, as well as men and boys. Women in Gaza are having to give birth in shelters, in their homes, in the streets amid rubble, or in overwhelmed health care facilities.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are particularly vulnerable as illness and hunger have spread. The lack of clean drinking water and hygiene facilities also increase the risks that women and girls face.

Rose Caldwell, CEO of Plan International UK, said:

“We have been horrified at the toll the Gaza crisis has taken on women and girls. 70% of all casualties have been women and children; mothers are going without food to try to provide for their children; and women are even having to undergo c-sections without anaesthetic, which remains one of the prohibited medical supplies for entry into Gaza.

“The humanitarian crisis in Gaza represents a failure of the international community that will be remembered for generations. But we can, and must, prevent further suffering. This International Women’s Day comes at a critical juncture. It is vital that the UK Government takes urgent action for women and girls and all those impacted by the crisis, including by doing all it can to secure an immediate and permanent ceasefire.”

The charities participating in the demonstration are calling for:

  • An immediate and permanent ceasefire;
  • The release of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons;
  • Full compliance by all parties with International Humanitarian Law, including the protection of hospitals, schools and refugee camps; and
  • The facilitation of aid and supplies into Gaza at scale.

The charities also stand firmly in support of all survivors seeking justice for gender-based violence. Conflict-related sexual violence is a gross violation of human rights and prohibited under international humanitarian law.

Action Against Hunger, Action For Humanity, CARE International UK, ActionAid UK, GAPS, Oxfam and Plan International UK participated in the demonstration.


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