Pan-African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) Supports Women’s March in Gaza. One of the largest women-led formations in Africa has lent its full support to the upcoming Women’s March taking place in Gaza on Tuesday, 3 July.
In a statement issued on Monday, the group condemned the terror that was being unleashed by the Israeli regime on the women of Palestine, singling out the assassination of a 21-year old medic, Razan Najar as an example of Israel’s brutality against Palestinian women. “When we see our fellow Palestinian mothers and sisters, we see ourselves,” wrote PAWO Secretary-General, Pinky Kekana.
The Women’s March is part of the Great Return March (GRM) movement that began on 30 March. PAWO is responding to the call made by GRM organizers inviting women from around the world to support the women of Palestine in ending seven decades of occupation and more than a decade of blockade and siege of the Gaza Strip.
Palestine and Africa: a shared struggle
Kekana, who also serves as Deputy Minister of Communications in the South African government, also highlighted the shared struggle against colonialism and apartheid between the African people and the people of Palestine:
“Israel is attempting to force our African countries to give up our solidarity with the Palestinian people. However, this will not happen! Not under our watch! We cannot betray the Palestinian people who, during the darkest days of colonialism, provided us Africans nations with resources, military training and other forms of support in our various anti-colonial struggles.”
Kekana also reiterated the call for African states and the international community to increase the sanctions against and isolation of the Israeli regime:
“The combination of protest by Palestinians on the ground and international pressure can bring a just peace to the region,” explained Kekana.
PAWO also mourned the death of veteran Israeli human rights lawyer, Felicia Langer, who died on 21 June at the age of 87. Langer was one of the first Jewish Israeli lawyers to assist Palestinians in cases involving Israeli land confiscation, house demolitions, deportations, and torture. Kekana said that she agreed with Langer when she called Israel an apartheid state.