Adalah to AG: Implement UN recommendations on discrimination against Palestinian women in Israel

Adalah urges Israel implement CEDAW-recommended measures to increase Bedouin women's employment, raises concerns with forced urbanization, evictions, displacement.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel is calling on Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to issue guidelines for the government's implementation of United Nations recommendations on the elimination of discrimination against women.


The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) expressed concern about Israel's systematic discrimination against Arab women citizens in the concluding observations of its review of Israel released on 21 November 2017.


Adalah Attorney Soheir Assad, who represented Adalah during the most recent committee discussions in Geneva, noted in her 11 December 2017 letter to AG Mandelblit that CEDAW highlighted a large number of areas in which Israel violated the rights of Palestinian women citizens of the state, including: the systematic Israeli state discrimination against "national minorities"; the ban on Palestinian family unification; the limited employment of Arab – specifically Bedouin – women; the displacement of Bedouin communities in the Naqab (Negev) region; draconian limits on human rights defenders and organizations, via legislation such as the Nakba law and the boycott law, and also via efforts to limit foreign sources of NGO funding.


Assad also emphasized that Israel has ratified most of the international human rights conventions – including that on the elimination of discrimination against women – thus expressing its intent to act in accordance with the standards and norms of the convention.


Israel, therefore, must consider CEDAW's recommendations seriously and anchor them in internal directives obligating government ministries to eradicate discrimination against women.


Adalah submitted a report in 2016 to the committee and contributed chapters to the Working Group’s joint report to the committee ahead of the review session. The committee raised many of the concerns highlighted by Adalah and the Working Group in our reports.  Additionally, Adalah presented an oral statement to the committee during its Israel review in Geneva.