Women’s opportunities and freedoms have been especially limited in the southern West Bank of Palestine, where ActionAid Australia is working, in partnership with ActionAid Palestine.
“Women have no voice nor say in Hatta. She is not allowed to go out alone, not even to the market. She has to be accompanied by her husband, son or brother,” says Howra*, a member of ActionAid’s women’s group.
As part of our Women Stepping Forward program, with the support of the Australian Government’s Australian NGO Cooperation Scheme, we have been working with Palestinian women and girls to improve their status and transform their lives. Across three locations in the West Bank, we have trained 85 women as community leaders as well as supporting women’s economic empowerment and sustainable livelihoods.
“We overcame some of the traditional barriers of ‘this is prohibited’ or ‘women are not supposed to do that,” says Bahar*, a member of one of the women’s groups.
Women like Bahar are now working in food processing, sewing, knitting and embroidery at vocational centres. We have also provided 25 women with seed funding and coaching to establish livelihood initiatives.
These women have collectively worked to improve their status in the face of practices such as polygamy, early marriage, and lack of education and opportunities for paid employment. Their vision and achievements are remarkable considering that, in conservative Palestinian culture, women must fight to be seen and heard. By supporting ActionAid Australia, you are supporting women like Howra and Bahar to claim their rights and collectively confront inequality and injustice.