Thursday, 21 March 2024


Middle East conflict


Middle East conflict

Georgie PURCELL (Northern Victoria) (18:03): (813) My adjournment matter is for the Premier, and the action that I seek is for the government to finally end its partnership with Israeli weapon companies in light of the recent bombing and planned invasion of Rafah. Last week International Women’s Day gave us an opportunity to recognise and acknowledge women; the inequality, sexism and misogyny that attempts to determine our fate; and our achievements as women despite it all. Yet the day continues to be surpassed by horrific realities. Every time I hear someone say women have equality in this state, I think of the hundreds of women being murdered at the whim of men – women who either will not return home or are killed within their homes. They tell us not to run at night, of the perversions we may risk in the dark. As it turns out, we found out in recent weeks the light is not safe either.

But many on International Women’s Day also reflected on how Palestinian women are being ravaged by violence and colonialism. Sixty thousand women are pregnant in Gaza while suffering from dehydration and malnutrition, starving because countries like Australia are preventing basic aid from flowing through. Gaza’s hospitals have been obliterated by Israel, leaving women and children without medicine, proper birthing facilities or doctors. Women also cannot access menstrual products. As if the constant blood of the death around them was not enough, they are prevented too from containing the flow of their own periods.

A United Nations report recently described the Israeli soldiers’ employment of violent beatings, sexual humiliation and assaults of Palestinians. It is no coincidence that 70 per cent of the more than 30,000 Palestinians killed are women or children. Whether this figure be argued as a display of sexual triumph between male enemies, an attack on the integrity of men or the reconfiguration of an ethnic collectivity, they all extract the individual from the body, reducing women to mere vessels for warfare. It is pathetic that we must continue to remind each other that women’s rights are human rights. We applauded women in this country on International Women’s Day, but our country and our state simultaneously partake in the genocide of Palestinians. At the same time that the Australian government sends aid to Palestinians, it is shipping weapons to the killers. I seek for the Premier to end this, because it is not right. Immediately cease providing weapons to and funding Israel’s military.