Crouch End woman shaves her head outside parliament ‘in solidarity with the women of Gaza’

The group has also kept hold of locks of their hair to send to individual MPs, reports Olivia Opara

A woman from Crouch End has publicly shaved her head outside parliament in solidarity with the women of Gaza.

On Tuesday, 19th March, eleven women staged a protest in which they publicly shaved their heads and laid their hair in front of the gates to the Houses of Parliament, alongside the message: “UK government is complicit with genocide in Gaza”.

The group told HCP they were protesting against the government’s refusal to call for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the unlawful blockade of food, water and humanitarian aid, and its continued profiting from UK-based production and sale of arms to Israel.

Joining the protest was Sarah Montgomery, a 73-year-old mother from Crouch End, who plans to send several locks of her hair to a number of MPs as a call to action on the Israel-Gaza conflict from the UK government.

Sarah said: “I shave my hair in solidarity with the women of Gaza who not only lack water to wash their hair but water to drink, cook, and give to their children. They are dying from dehydration and starvation.

“They are not able to care for their families [and] they search in amongst the rubble, hoping to retrieve a parent, spouse, sibling, son or daughter alive. Their fear, grief and loss is immeasurable and immense.”

Earlier this year, it was reported by the United Nations (UN) that more than 690,000 women and girls in Gaza currently “have no privacy and limited access to menstrual hygiene supplies”, with an estimated 5,500 pregnant women facing challenges in accessing adequate medical care. In January, ActionAid Palestine reported that women and girls in Gaza are resorting to unsafe ways of managing their periods, such as using cut up tent pieces as substitutes for period products.

Sarah and the group claim that their action “embodies empathy” with Palestinian women as head shaving has over the centuries been an expression of mourning and penance in various cultures.

Sarah added: “I hope that joining a group of women sitting outside the Houses of Parliament and baring our heads will be seen as an expression of my anger and compassion and be a call to the UK government and everyone in positions of power across the globe to stop this outrageous genocide and call for a ceasefire now.”

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