Human Rights Day: Protect human rights of women and children in areas of conflict

9 December 2023

Media Releases 2023



Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) calls for the protection of the human rights of women and children in areas of conflict, not least Gaza and the Ukraine.

SPA condemns both the 7 October attack against the people of Israel, including the horrific rape of women, and the ongoing and escalating international humanitarian law violations in Gaza, including the blocking of food, water and aid.

Sunday December 10 is Human Rights Day. Its aim is to promote and protect human rights, relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of individuals, for all people over the world.

The 2023 theme is ‘Consolidating and Sustaining Human Rights Culture into the Future’.

SPA national president Jenny Goldie says women and children too often lack any kind of ‘human rights culture’ that can be ‘consolidated and sustained’.

“This is particularly true in situations of conflict and crisis where women and children are disproportionately affected.

“For instance, women and adolescent girls in the midst of conflict are unable to access basic medical care,” says Ms Goldie. “Globally, at least 500 women and adolescent girls die from pregnancy and childbirth complications in emergencies, every day.

“In areas of conflict, adolescent girls are 90 per cent more likely to be missing out on school compared to girls in conflict-free regions. This may lead to lifelong disadvantage if they then lack the skills needed to work in the wider economy.

“Where there is conflict or crisis in a country, women experience higher rates of gender-based violence. This often leads to unwanted pregnancies and ongoing trauma.”

Ms Goldie endorsed the comment by the late civil rights campaigner, Nelson Mandela, who said, To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.’

“We are challenging the humanity of too many people right now. Ending conflict will help restore human rights. Regrettably, the UN Security Council is yet to adopt a resolution calling for a ceasefire between Israel, Hamas and their allies.

“It is thus commendable that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter, urging the UN Security Council to act on the war in Gaza.”


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