Women and girls in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan often face a harsh reality when it comes to employment and other opportunities.
The unemployment rate among women is much higher than among men, and they get paid less. Gender stereotypes and roles can get in the way of personal and professional advancement. Women and girls also can fall victim to domestic violence and early marriage. And the challenges that come with menstrual hygiene can limit girls and young women in very real ways.
Yet, despite and because of all of the difficulties life throws in their way, women and girls are a powerful force in the communities Anera serves. They are mothers and caretakers. They are breadwinners and providers. They are advocates for positive change. They are leaders in their fields and role models for young people and their peers.
Strong and inspiring women and girls are at the heart of many of Anera's program successes, because when they have access to educational and economic opportunities, they invest in their communities and improve the lives of everyone around them.
Teaching Job Skills
Anera’s vocational training program in Lebanon works with local organizations to teach job and life skills so that young people are ready to join the workforce. The majority of students are young women and they participate in a range of trainings, from plumbing to graphic design, that enable them to support their families in places where jobs are scarce.
Affirming That Women Can
Anera's Women Can project helps women in Palestine to increase their economic autonomy and financial resources. Hundreds of women entrepreneurs in the West Bank and Gaza have turned their dreams in a reality, starting or growing their small enterprises. Anera supports them through training, seed funding, mentorship, and other capacity-building activities. Now these heads-of-household can better support their families.
Reducing Early Marriage
Research reveals that education is one of the most, if not the most, effective mechanisms that prevents early marriage. Anera's Sama Project provides cash payments to families to support the education of Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian girls and break cycles that lead to dropping out of school and marrying young. The project also engages men, boys and community members by raising awareness of the importance of continued education for girls.
Supporting Women's Centers
Anera has long supported cooperatives and other centers that bring women together, providing them with space to work, learn and gather. We build and renovate infrastructure, provide training and partnership, and pay women for their work that directly contributes to Anera programs. Among some of our valued partnerships are CSSL in Gaza and the Women's Programs Association in the refugee camps of Lebanon.
Ending Period Poverty
To combat the period poverty that has become epidemic among vulnerable refugee communities in Lebanon, Anera hosts awareness and education sessions and distributes menstrual hygiene supplies. In conservative, traditional societies, menstruation is rarely discussed. Anera is trying to break the cycle of silence so that mothers in this and future generations understand the importance of breaking stigmas and educating their daughters.
How It Works
Education Opens Opportunities
Women and girls are in the majority when it comes to seeking higher education. However, they often don’t share the same advantages as their male peers. Anera’s vocational training and mentorship programs build marketable skills that give them a competitive edge.
Investment Transforms Lives
Often women are their families' main breadwinners, whether they are refugees in Lebanon or heads of household in Gaza, where men cannot find jobs. Anera helps women get ready for success by providing equipment and infrastructure, graduation kits with tools if their trade, and professional mentorship along the way.
Partnerships Make It All Possible
Anera partners with women and girls who are leaders in their communities. These inspiring people are there every day investing their time, energy, creativity, their hearts and sometimes even their own limited resources. They set the example and improve the well-being of their expanded family – the men, women and children who benefit from their generosity.
She's making use of her new sewing skills from Anera's vocational education program to add an artful presentation to the preserved foods, or mouneh, that she makes and sells with her mother.