Women Can is helping women launch small businesses in Palestine
In the Palestinian West Bank, Anera is conducting trainings for 86 women in Ramallah and Salfit governorates. Today, 18 women are gathered in the village of Al Mughier in Ramallah for a four-day training as part of Anera’s Women Can project funded by Islamic Relief USA.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted marginalized women in Palestine, widening gender inequality. The pandemic has also reportedly increased stress and depression, particularly among women.
These training sessions help the women identify their business needs as they prepare to launch their small businesses.
Anera’s team dedicated the first day of the training to offering psychosocial support for the participants through exercises like deep breathing and story sharing. The remaining three days focused on the technical aspects of the projects, like management and budgeting.
The women created WhatsApp groups to effectively communicate and help each other confront challenges – emotional and logistical – like managing anxiety and sharing updates on their new projects.
Maha, 30, is one of the participants. She plans to start up a sheep grazing project. She says,
“Through these trainings, we created our social networking to support each other. This is helping me build my self-confidence and learn from other women. I realized that we all share a common story. We want to change our situations and launch our dream projects. Every woman should be stronger. Don’t let anything stand in your way or ruin your dreams. Nothing is impossible. Take care of yourself, because no one else will.”
Nihaya, who plans to open a clothing shop, is another participant at the training. She says “I loved this training. We’ve learned how to make our small projects viable. I am becoming more in charge of my dreams. I let go of the stress and I started to think what shall I do next in my life.”
“In sharing my story today,” she says, “I felt comfortable, like life’s difficulties melted away.”
The views expressed herein are those of Anera and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.