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UN Entity for Women Empowerment Turns a Blind Eye to Israeli Female Victims of Terror

When the United Nations fails to stand up for Israeli women and hostages, when it fails to condemn Hamas, when it fails to report the truth, it is failing women everywhere.
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November 28, 2023
Protestors gather at the offices of the United Nations Women on November 27, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Amid the avalanche of anti-Israel propaganda surrounding the Israel-Hamas war, it is more important than ever that international organizations like the United Nations (UN) remain impartial. In particular, the double standard against Israel that UN Women has demonstrated is alarming and must be challenged.

The UN Women website states that it is “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.” In fact, it excludes a specific subset of women. The truth is that UN Women has turned a blind eye to the horrors that Israeli women suffered during the October 7 barbarous attack by Hamas.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Sima Bahous, UN Women has released a series of communications emphasizing Palestinian suffering, while entirely ignoring the savage massacre of Israeli women.

A report released on October 20, which contains the estimated number of dead and injured on both sides, notes that 53% of Palestinian casualties are women and children. Aside from the source of this statistic being suspect, as data coming out of the Hamas-ruled Gaza is historically unreliable, there is no mention of the percentage of Israeli women and children raped and mutilated by Hamas. The report goes on to state that the “impact [of the crisis] from a gender perspective cannot be overlooked.” The crisis to which UN Women refers is clear, as is the one it continues to neglect.

UN Women’s pattern of bias has continued throughout the conflict. It released a story on November 1, part of a larger series called “Voices from Gaza,” that features the picture and emotional testimony of a suffering Palestinian-Arab women.

Notably, there is no series called “Voices from Israel.” A visitor to the UN Woman website would never know that Israeli women and children are currently held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. They may never see the horrifying images of Israeli women and children mutilated, raped and murdered on October 7.

The scandalous imbalance of reporting conducted by UN Women toward Israel is evident in its approach to other regional conflicts. The organization was quick to condemn sexual violence perpetrated in Ukraine, and highlighted crimes committed against women in Sudan and Ethiopia.

The inconsistency of its advocacy when it comes to Israeli women raises serious questions about UN Women’s legitimacy. Any respected international organization must adopt an agenda-free approach in order to be taken seriously. UN Women must retract reports when proven to be false, as in the case of Al Ahli hospital strike. Failing to do so will prevent the international body from achieving its stated mission of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Thus far, it is not living up to its lofty mission.

UN Woman has a powerful platform for shaping global perspectives and must be held to the highest standards of integrity. Instead, its predisposition to reporting desired outcomes skews the global understanding of the situation in Gaza, which only serves to perpetuate further conflict.

When the United Nations fails to stand up for Israeli women and hostages, when it fails to condemn Hamas, when it fails to report the truth, it is failing women everywhere.

Now is the time for UN Women to make a concerted effort toward positive change. UN Women can play a crucial role in defending women by adopting an impartial stance and acknowledging the complexities of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

This is not merely a demand for fairness. It is a call for a commitment to integrity.


Karys Rhea is a producer at The Epoch Times and works with the Middle East Forum, Jewish Leadership Project and Baste Records.

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