Jordanians Scrutinize UN Women Executive Director for Controversial Statement on Gaza

Amman, January 23, 2024 – At 6:00 pm Amman time on Tuesday, January 23rd, a coordinated effort unfolded as a multitude of emails flooded the inbox of Dr. Sima Bahous, the Executive Director of UN Women. The emails, sent by a group of close to a hundred concerned Jordanian citizens, activists and professionals, expressed disappointment and condemnation in response to Dr. Bahous's recent statement.

In her statement, Dr. Bahous condemned attacks impacting women and girls in Gaza, while adopting the Israeli narrative in specific instances. The use of the phrase "after 100 days of the horrors of Hamas" further heightens resentment, especially in light of her detailed accounts of sexual violence and claimed rape,which were never confirmed or proven, and in her expressions of sympathy for families of hostages in Gaza.

The emails confront Dr. Bahous for sympathizing with the Israeli narrative, disregarding United Nations treaties and literature, and failing to recognize war crimes and international law violations committed by the Israeli occupation. The emails also opposed the equating of casualties from both sides and highlighted the distortion of facts, manipulation of information, and an alleged oversight of how the occupation handles female prisoners and the kidnapping of women and children in Gaza.

One email stated, “While I acknowledge your position as the Executive Director of UN Women, it is disheartening to observe what appears to be a significant oversight of the suffering endured by Palestinians. It is disappointing to note that the narrative employed in your statement during these challenging times has failed to meet the basic values of justice and human rights.”

The emails collectively demand a retraction of Dr. Bahous's statement and an apology. As of now, no replies have been reported.


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