News and Commentary


Bias-Watch: Why Does UN Women’s Public Messaging Appear To Back Palestine/Hamas Over Israel?

Sharing is caring!

Bias-Watch: Why Does UN Women’s Public Messaging Appear To Back Palestine/Hamas Over Israel?

Sean Parker

October 20, 2023

Pinned to the top of UN Women’s X (formerly Twitter) public account is a post reading: ‘UN Women condemns the attacks on civilians in Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories, & is deeply alarmed by the devastating impact on civilians including women & girls. International Humanitarian Law & Human Rights Law must be respected & upheld.’

UN Women has 2.2 million followers, and its bio reads: ‘UN Women is the United Nations entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment.’ It is understood that UN Women is the gendered arm of the United Nations organisation, but any ‘UN Men’ account is less well documented. UNW’s Twitter/X account is legendary for infantile, repetitive posts, such as would be made by a perpetually aggrieved teenager. It’s almost as if the org’s higher management had no idea what was happening in its brave new social media department.

So far, so politically feminist. While equality feminism can hardly lay claim to any residual leftism, with most of its beneficiaries being power-suited woman bankers and the like, political feminism remains resolutely rooted in the Marxist tradition. Grievance intersectionality is strong in these people, feeling the pain of the trans community, the Mexicans, illegal immigrants to the UK and the Palestinians.

The difference between the Palestinians who voted in the proscribed terrorist organisation Hamas and the barbaric acts meted out in south Israel on October 7th 2023 may be unclear to them, but its brightly delineated to the less indoctrinated. The murder of hundreds of young festival-goers near the Gaza border, taking of hundreds more hostages, and harrowing reports/pictures of decapitated babies doesn’t seem enough to even add pause to the support of some. There are online divisions, there are culture wars, and then there is the ancient Arabs vs Jews faultline. If you didn’t think things could get more divisive than Donald Trump, Brexit and the pros and cons of the Covid jab, that was before the resurgence of this particular conflict of the ages.

UN Women, like most political feminism, will tacitly equate Israel with dominant, authoritarian masculinity, and Palestine with long-suffering, put-upon women. So a little terrorism is justified in breaking free of the shackles, surely? That is the binary thinking of much fourth-wave feminism (4WF) voiced by presentable media types all over the West: what’s one wrongfully convicted man if ten women get to be ‘heard’?

It’s a relatively undefined new morality, based on the ‘move fast and break things’ model of a young Mark Zuckerberg (and fellow Silicon valley types). The ends justify the means for the underdog, even when international Equality Acts guarantee equity across the West, and women are doing better in every metric – still grievance is claimed, and criticism/reality swerved. This is why UN Women support Palestine in its media messaging; and in the same way they won’t so much criticise Israel or the Jews explicitly for the brutal murder of its own citizens, it will immediately criticise its incendiary response.

This is a reflection of the ‘don’t mention the problems of men’ stance of 4FW’s, in a craven avoidance of difficult equities of another sort, not to mention unhelpful to the eternal cause. When will the stonewalling and deliberate divisionism ever be enough? Probably when men themselves are a tiny, marginalised minority – and Israel is too.

Sean Parker is an academic editor and writer on justice reform and cultural studies.