Practical Skills:
Women working to help their families in Gaza
ince 2000, poverty in the
Gaza Strip has increased
dramatically with levels in
some areas rising as high
as 85 percent. Due to the
almost complete closure between Gaza
and Israel since the disengagement process
was completed last September, most Gazan
men who worked in Israel have lost their
jobs, which has only increased the need for
income generating work to be carried out in
this impoverished area. Today, the need for
Gazan women to contribute to the family
income is greater than ever.
S The Wadi Salqa area in Gaza remains one of
the most impoverished, with approximately
85 percent of the population living below
the poverty line of US$2 per day. Alia is
a single 32 year-old woman, living with
and caring for her 82 year-old father in
Wadi Salqa. For many years their home
overlooked the fenced-in area of the Israeli
settlement, Kfar Darom. Today the area
has been returned back to the Palestinians,
but dirt roads still snake through the
neighborhood. The situation has changed,
but vast improvements are still needed.
Alia's father had been employed as a
construction worker, building homes and
apartments in Israel which had enabled him
to provide for his family, until he lost his
job at the beginning of the Intifada in 2000.
As such, he was forced to take the only job
he could find in Gaza - lifting heavy cinder
blocks onto trucks for shipment for a total of
NIS12 (approximately US$2.50) per day.
Women's groups provide
training in a range of
disciplines including
sewing and embroidery,
bookkeeping and business