Gaza – Women's Leadership Incubator project, launched earlier this year and funded by the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation and supported by Rahma Austria, was concluded by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor in the Palestinian Territories, Gaza office.
To raise women's awareness about their own rights in various areas such as decision-making, leadership and economic empowerment, the project has targeted six local women institutions in Gaza’s different governorates.
Helping women set up their own small businesses and increase employment opportunities, the project has been successful in meeting its overall goal of enhancing the economic and social security of women in the targeted communities, explains Abeer Abu Shawish, WLI's project manager.
The participating institutions carried out six initiatives and small projects, and held a number of workshops to train managers, staff of NGOs, women's grassroots institutions and graduates in different areas of the Gaza Strip.
The workshops and training included topics such as small-project management, writing project proposals, raising funds via crowdfunding platforms and promoting projects.
“Being determined and supportive of women, we have been successful in making change,” says Mai Abu Zayed, the Women and Children's Development Association's legal trainer.
A group of women participated in about 20 sessions on legal and community awareness of their rights, which have had a significant positive impact on their lives and gave them hope that they will become an effective and capable part of society, adds Abu Zayed.
Promoting community participation
Wissal Abu Odeh of the Rehabilitation and Development of Palestinian Homes Society says that their experience has been different. Her association’s project was concerned with improving community participation of young people in Gaza’s Middle Area. The Association established a youth team between the ages of 18 and 35 who were given leadership skills training. The team was also given training on gender, women's rights and international conventions on women, in addition to political participation, citizenship and fundamentals of civil society work and advocacy.
As for the impact and sustainability of the project, Abu Odeh adds that her association built a team of 20 young men and women working under the framework of the association. The team will be included in the training and volunteer activities on violence against women and other topics in the same field.
The youth team has launched a campaign titled "I am a graduate, I need a job." The association has coordinated with other development centers in the Middle Area to implement community initiatives under the leadership of this team.
The "Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees" implemented a project titled, “Dictionary of Feminist Thought”. Counseled by female lawyers, counselors and directors of women's organizations in the Gaza Strip, the project is based on a feminist effort to compile, correct, modify and work on all gender concepts. The project was able to contribute to a kind of networking under a corrective framework to promote gender concepts among members of the society in a sound and simple manner.
“To account for human dignity, all societies and institutions should take up gender issues as part of liberating the Palestinian land and the Palestinian people,” says Taghreed Darwish, a project coordinator of the Women's Union.
A series of new qualitative training was carried out by the University Graduates Association - Gaza Strip. The association has established “A Freelance Work Unit”, which includes several fields such as design, translation, programming, content writing and others.
"We are very pleased that although we are recent graduates with little experience, we have received training and developed skills greater than expected", says Raghda Dalloul, one of the project participants.
Rights of the Deaf
Women and Children's Development Association has carried out "Women's Rights: Human Rights" Initiative, targeting deaf women in Khan Younis governorate. The initiative was implemented by doing awareness sessions on the legal, economic and social situation with the participation of deaf women.
Family Development Association - northern Gaza - has carried out "Entrepreneurship and Employment Opportunities for Graduates" project. Out of the 20 people trained in the project, seven were selected as trainers in generating creative and entrepreneurial ideas, preparing small projects and writing proposals.
“We were distributed as trainers after we received training in the northern Gaza Strip, Gaza City and the Middle Area of the Gaza Strip to pass on our experiences and how to set up special projects for new graduates looking for work,” says Reham al-Alul. The experience is very rich on the moral and psychological levels”.
The “Women's Leadership Incubator 2017” Project aims at empowering women and their rights and promoting gender equality in the Gaza Strip by training local and civil society staff and integrating women in leadership positions to improve the lives of women in marginalized communities in the Gaza Strip.
WLI project aims at promoting gender equality, defend women’s rights in the Gaza Strip by training local and civil society staff and by encouraging them to integrate in the society and take the lead so as to improve the living conditions of women in local institutions as well as in the community.