Women Can Do Anything! Empowering Women in Palestine
Anera’s Women Can program supports Palestinian women-headed families in the West Bank and Gaza generate their own income. Women-headed families make up 12 percent of households in the West Bank and 10 percent in Gaza, and are identified as being among the most vulnerable groups in Palestine. Supporting women to generate their own income is the most reliable strategy for enhancing resilience. Anera aims to help boost the income generated from each participant’s small enterprise to equal at least the Palestinian national minimum wage (about $430 per month).
The program consists of job skills and business management training as well as supplying program participants with the proper tools to carry out their profession. Below is a round up of Women Can program successes:
Hawazim was able to open her own bakery with the help provided from Women Can. Learn more >>
Meet Ikraam El Faleh, the owner of a stationary and toys shop in the Middle Area of Gaza. Learn more >>
A West Bank cook fires up her business with Anera’s help. Learn more >>
“Strong and happy.” This is how Alaa Nofal describes her feelings as she welcomes women clients in her newly opened beauty salon located in Deir Al-Balah Refugee Camp in central Gaza. Learn more >>
In a Palestinian village 13 miles northwest of Ramallah, Kawthar remained an isolated introvert for many years. “Ever since I moved to this village, a little over 15 years ago, I made no friends and just kept to myself,” the single mother tells us while flashing an infectious smile and finishing a transaction with a young man, who has become a regular customer. Now she is outgoing and the proud owner of her own convenience store. Learn more >>
Ruqayya is a tailor in her village of Qarawat Bani Zeid, located near Ramallah in the West Bank. Her sewing workroom is humble, but for her it is a place of satisfaction. “My sewing space is my happy place,” Ruqayya says. She has dreamed of running a sewing business since she was 16. Learn more >>
Fayrouz’s beauty salon in the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Zeid is thriving thanks to support for women head-of-household entrepreneurs. Learn more >>
Anera’s Women Can program helps Ameera start her own landscaping business. Learn more >>
Before she married, Fatima worked full time at local factories sewing clothes every day. She wanted to use those skills to build her own business but couldn’t afford a sewing machine. Fatima says women who have to take care of their families often struggle to get loans or other credit. Now, Fatima uses her own sewing machine that Anera purchased for her so she can repair clothing for neighbors. “I had nothing to begin with and now I have a decent job that offers a dignified living for my family.” Learn more >>
In her modest salon in Biddu, in the Jerusalem Governorate of the Palestinian West Bank, Hanan is able to provide her services to a wide array of customers. Before she was working out of her home. Learn more >>
Anera had an opportunity to talk with five Women Can participants in the West Bank. The first two women profiled live in Qabalan village, in the southeast of Nablus, the next lives in the Yasmeen neighborhood, in the heart of Nablus’ Old City, one lives in Qalqilya, and the last woman profiled lives in the village of Azoon, near Qalqilya.
Women Can’s program coordinator, Nariman Othman, talks about meeting and interviewing amazing Palestinian women from all over the West Bank, aspects of the program and her own life experience — giving her a unique perspective on the program.
Abeer never had enough space or equipment to open her own beauty salon. For years, she received her customers at her home. The cramped space didn’t allow her to expand and hurt her business. All that changed this year when she joined Anera’s Women Can program.
Meet Khyria, a baker from Qabalan, Palestine, locally famous for her giant bread loaves.
Sheep cheese provides income in rural Palestine for these two Palestinian women.
Kholood now has new professional kitchen appliances. Before, she was worried about taking large food orders because of her inadequate appliances and the small size of her home kitchen. Now she has all the tools and space she needs and is able to help her friends sell their produce.
Nihaya has earned a reputation for her karshat, or stuffed lamb intestines, a popular dish across the Mediterranean.
Holly Jordan is the new business development manager at Anera and one of the many architects of the Women Can program. She previously served as visiting assistant professor of religion at Roanoke College in Virginia.
Anera’s press release about the program.
This page will be updated regularly with new profiles and information on the program.
This project is being implemented with the generous support of the Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA). The views expressed herein are those of American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.
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