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Karama Supports Women

Women in Palestine

Challenges

Did you know that more women (18.7%) than men (15.3%) have a bachelor degree or above in Palestine? Palestinian women are shining examples of resilience, as they are smart and hard-working contributors to Palestinian society. For generations, they have been corner stones in  households, the community and the national liberation movement. At the same time, women face unique challenges under the ongoing military conflict and patriarchal structures of society. In some areas of life, women cannot freely and actively participate, while violence in households and the community is a continuous harmful trend that is not sufficiently addressed. This problem was even more exacerbated by the COVID19 crisis that hit the economic, political and social participation and contribution of women extra hard.

What the Data Shows

Employment

In 2021, women recorded low rates of participation in the labour force: reaching 17.2% among females of all ages compared to 73.6% among males (which is over 1:4 ratio) (pcbs.gov.ps).

As well, the percentage of unemployment for women was 28.9% compared to 12.4% for men, which is over twice more than men (pcbs.gov.ps).

While women with 13+ years of education are much more likely to join the workforce, they also experience the most unemployment, as the rate soars up to 48.6%, compared to 20.7% for their male peers.

Early Marriage

Early marriage (16, 17 years old) still happens in Palestine, though it is declining with less women marrying before their 18th birthday every year: currently 11.4% of the young women are married before their 18th birthday in the West Bank, down from 16.8% in 2007. 

Karama’s Support for Women

Karama has been strenuously working to ensure that women possess enough skills to be able to start or progress in their professional careers. For example, we have offered different programs and initiatives targeting women in different areas.

We have supported women in different skills, including:

  •            Skills & Education
  •            Networks and Social Support
  •            Information provision
  •            Entrepreneurship
  •            Food production and Gardening
  •            Promoting positive attention for new roles in society and accepting new social norms

Rooftop Greenhouses project

Karama has developed the idea to engage with refugee women as entrepreneurs and producers of healthy, nutritious food. To combat the grey jungle of buildings and construction in the refugee camps, Karama started making small rooftop greenhouses, which provided green spaces where women were encouraged to plant, grow, and harvest from their own hands.

Through the rooftop greenhouses initiatives, Karama has worked on four aims.

1) Empowering women by encouraging and supporting them in their productive and self-reliant businesses that will positively contribute to their families’ well-being without having to rely on external support. This increases their confidence, feelings of self-efficacy and accomplishment. 

2) Giving them sessions on agriculture and organic food production, and training them in maintaining their gardens independently so they can feed their families and increase their overall health;

3) Creating a network for women to share skills, knowledge, and entrepreneurial ideas;

4) Building a solid local production unit and store for food products made from the greenhouses’ harvest and by women.

Please click here to have a look at the project’s website.

 

Flower and Seedling Shop

Another set of activities implemented in 2021 with the support of some of our donors were small-scale entrepreneurial activities from four women from vulnerable households in three refugee camps in the southern West Bank. Through simple business courses, six women were selected with the most feasible ideas and the highest commitment. A holistic business support package was prepared for them that covered training, exchange visits, provision of raw supplies and marketing support. In the second half of the year, a small store was opened specifically for the products of these women, including the flowers and seedlings prepared in the seedling nursery run by a woman in the camp.

Skill Workshops

International volunteers run workshops in which they share their skills with our local women. For example, our Scottish volunteer Addison completed a jewelry-making workshop with them. She showed the women how to make brooches, necklaces and little gifts with beads, felts, fabric and resin. The women loved this workshop in which they could be creative and make something with their own hands.

English Classes

Karama regularly arranges English classes for women. Currently, there are very few women in the camp who speak sufficient English to give interviews to foreign journalists or to speak with international volunteers on their own. The courses offered by Karama improve the women’s possibilities to communicate and provides them with better opportunities to attend university as well as for finding work. Women who have not used their English for a while have the possibility to refresh their knowledge.

6 women

Six women from two refugee camps received a business support package to develop their business idea into an income-generating activity. 

220 Greenhouse Participants

Agricultural engineers and social workers were following up with the women to succeed in the project and continue taking care of their rooftop greenhouses.

90% of our female participants

They were able during Covid19 to continue working in their greenhouses and had a successful harvest season, ranging from 40 to 240 kilos of produce.

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.