Ramallah & Gaza, 24/02/2021 – The launch of the project “Gender Equality in the Economic Sphere: Our Right, Our Priority” was officially marked today by a two launch events, a virtual event for the West Bank and an event held in Gaza city. The project is implemented by the Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center in Palestine (DWRC), in partnership with COSPE, EducAid, and the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD). The project is funded by the EU through the thematic program “Civil society organizations as actors of governance and development work in the field” in an amount of 755,770 EUR.
The overall objective of the project is enhancing Palestinian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) engagement in and contribution to advancing gender equality in Palestine, in particular women’s economic rights. Its specific objective is to increase women’s CSOs initiatives in influencing at local and national level for creating an enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment. The project also includes an intermediary objective, which is to strengthen the autonomy and capacities of 30 women CSOs in Qalqilya, Tulkarem, Nablus Tubas/northern valley, and Hebron governorates, Jordan Valley, and Gaza Strip border areas in addressing labor and economic rights of women, including young women and women with disabilities (WWDs) with their communities.
The virtual launch event was opened by Mrs. Maria Velasco, the Deputy European Union Representative for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and UNRWA, and Mr. Ashraf Al-Ajrami, General Assembly Member of the Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center’s and former Minister.
‘’Women participation in economic, political, and social life is not a privilege, but a basic human right. It is also smart economics – women’s participation in the labour market contributes to growth and stronger economies. Therefore, the EU is particularly advocating and working on women economic empowerment, access to labour and resources as a fundamental means to reach gender equality, ‘’ said the Deputy EU Representative Maria Velasco. ‘’Palestine still strives to offer equal opportunities and cater for women's rights and needs. A lot was done in the last years, but still there is a lot to do. Through projects like the one we launch today, we support Palestinian civil society organizations to continue their efforts toward an equal society where men and women will build together the future Palestinian state,’’ she added.
Mr. Ashraf Al-Ajrami highlighted the importance of the project in mobilizing and joining efforts of civil society organizations for seeking the removal of barriers that undermine Palestinian women’s realization of their right to decent work.
Mrs. Amal Khreisheh, General Director of PWWSD, said “this project will strengthen the economic role of women, particularly women in community based organizations (CBOs), especially considering that women’s participation in the labor market is weakened and does not exceed 19%, as a result of the context of Israeli occupation, a patriarchal system, as well as a lack of political will.”
Mrs. Fatin Dwaik, Program Assistant of COSPE, highlighted that any initiative should not only be sustainable and bring benefits to people's quality of life, but should also contribute to the fulfillment of fundamental rights, in order to produce a lasting change, and promoting gender equality in the Palestinian economic sector is therefore strategic in this framework.
Mr. Mahmood Saed, the social economy expert from EducAid, highlighted the importance of mainstreaming disability in initiatives promoting the right to work of women, as: “women with disability are often hidden and silenced, their concerns unknown and their rights neglected. They live in a patriarchal society, with the double discrimination of being both women and disabled. Prejudice continues to prevail, making them one of the most marginalized groups in Palestinian society”.
Two DWRC project team members, Mrs. Carine Metz Abu Hmeid, Project manager, and Mrs. Mona Rostom, Gaza coordinator, presented its main components, stressing that the project seeks to build the capacities of women’s grassroots organizations at the local level, as well as strengthen joint CSO advocacy for women’s economic rights locally and nationally.
The launch events gathered representatives of grassroots women organizations, organizations for persons with disabilities, other CSOs and trade unions, representatives of ministries, local authorities and other stakeholders. Women’s rights activists, including activists for the rights of women with disabilities, also spoke about their situation and their experiences.
The project “Gender Equality in the Economic Sphere: Our Right, Our Priority” consists of four components: enhancing the capacities of activists of women grassroots CSOs through baseline and end-line gender analysis and capacity assessment, tailored training and technical assistance; supporting women CSOs in stimulating understanding of women’s labor and socio-economic rights among their members and their communities, particularly in marginalized areas and sectors, through awareness raising sessions and yearly thematic awareness campaigns; developing monitoring mechanisms of governmental policies, plans and programs related to women’s economic rights with grassroots women CSOs, and other CSOs and stakeholders; and supporting local and national joint advocacy initiatives undertaken by women CSOs for gender equality, and enhanced protection of women’s labor and socio-economic rights. The project includes a sub-granting mechanism for women CSOs, which aims to support local advocacy initiatives.
The project has duration of 36 months, starting from January 1st, 2021 until December 31st, 2023.
For further information, please contact:
Carine Metz Abu Hmeid
Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center in Palestine
Phone: 02 2952608