Sources directory of experts and spokespersonsMedia Names & Numbers Canadian media directoryParliamentary Names & Numbers Canadian government directorySources Hotlink media relations newsletter


Media Releases from members of Sources.
To submit a news release, use this form.

International Women′s Delegation Granted Entry to Gaza

March 9, 2009

Novelist Alice Walker, parents of Rachel Corrie and 58 others, including six Canadians spend International Women′s Day in war-torn territory

Gaza City, Gaza Strip – March 8, 2009 – The crossing from Egypt into the war-torn Gaza Strip opened March 7 to allow entry by a 60-member delegation organized by the peace group CODEPINK, in recognition of International Women′s Day (March 8). The crossing at Rafah has been closed by the Egyptian government almost continuously since July 2007. However, the CODEPINK delegation was invited to the region by the Gender Initiative of the United Nations′ Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a program dedicated to promoting the rights of girls and women in the Gaza Strip. In addition, Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, chairman of the Egyptian Red Crescent (similar to the Red Cross) and president of the National Women′s Committee, communicated her "blessing" of the mission through the Red Crescent team that escorted the delegation through the crossing.

"Given the fact that so many organizations and individuals wanting to help the people of Gaza have been turned away from both the Egyptian and Israeli border crossings, it is amazing that we were ushered through with such ease," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK. "We feel extremely fortunate to be able to be with our Gazan sisters on International Women′s Day. But we also want to send a message to the governments of both Egypt and Israel that the borders must be opened to all individuals and organizations. Long-term peace and prosperity are not possible without freedom of movement."

The Red Crescent estimates that 1,000 truckloads of supplies and other goods are needed every day to meet the needs of the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip. Yet, the UN reports that the daily average has been only 125 truckloads since the borders closed about 18 months ago.

The CODEPINK delegation, which is meeting with social-service organizations and delivering more than 1,000 gift baskets to Gazan women, includes Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Alice Walker. Also among the participants are Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of 23-year-old Rachel Corrie, who was struck and killed six years ago this month by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to block the demolition of a Gazan home.

"Rachel chose to come to Gaza as a volunteer just as the U.S. invasion of Iraq was beginning, because she believed that the war would worsen the plight of the Palestinian people – and that this is the most forgotten part of the Occupied Territories," said Cindy Corrie, as the group′s bus prepared to roll through the Rafah crossing. "She discovered, and shared with the world through her writing, that the people of Gaza are struggling to make a good life for their families, and are so in need and worthy of our support. The situation has only gotten worse since then, and Craig and I are devoting our lives to carrying on Rachel′s work, in partnership with organizations such as CODEPINK."

"We hope our visit makes a lasting impression that neither the Egyptian government nor the people of Gaza will soon forget," said Benjamin.

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, 059 706 4717 (in Gaza)
Jean Stevens, CODEPINK national media coordinator, 508-769-2138 (in U.S.)

For interviews with Canadians contact:
Kim Elliott: 011 972 (0)59 706-4075
Ehab Latoyef 011 972 (0)59 9 412 434
Sandra Ruch

For more information contact:
Medea Benjamin
CODEPINK co-founder
Phone: 059 706 4717 (in Gaza)

Jean Stevens
CODEPINK national media coordinator
Phone: 508-769-2138 (in US)

Kim Elliott
Phone: 011 972 (0)59 706-4075

Subject Headings and Related Resources:

    Information and Media Resources from Sources
Main News Release page Media releases from clients of the Sources media relations service.
Sources Calendar Check out newsworthy events from across Canada.
Sources Directory Search the Sources directory of experts, contacts and media spokespersons. Find how to include yourself in Sources.
Publish your news releases Sources can help you distribute your media releases
Media Names & Numbers Directory of Canada's print and broadcast media.
Parliamentary Names & Numbers Full contact information for government, political parties, lobbyists, and embassies.

Sources home page

Sources HomeSources directory of experts and newsmakersDownload free PDF sourcebooksMedia Names & Numbers Canadian media listsParliamentary Names & Numbers Canadian government directoryCanadian News ReleasesJournalism & Media LinksFame & Fortune Awards for Writers & JournalistsSources Calendar of Canadian eventsSources HotLink media relations newsletterProducts & services to get your message outInclude yourself in Sources and raise your profileAdvertising placements targeting opinion leadersAbout our AdvertisersSubscribe to Canada's top media & government directoriesCanadian media & government mailing lists & databasesDistribute your media releasesSuccess stories from Sources clientsEmployment & internship opportunitiesContact Sources