UNRWA Gaza Field Office
Equality in Action
In 2008 UNRWA introduced the "Equality in Action", Gender Initiative to address the needs of Palestinian girls and women in the Gaza Strip. The overarching goal of the Gender Initiative is to improve the capacity of women to exercise freedom of choice, take advantage of opportunities for personal and professional development and to address inequality at all levels of social, economic and political life.
"Equality in Action" is an inclusive initiative that responds directly to the self-stated needs of Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip. To that end, the activities of the Gender Initiative are designed to:
- provide women with spaces for social interaction, educational support and recreation in the form of sports training, Arabic and English literacy; computer lessons; and arts and crafts activities;
- enhance the skills of women to improve their access to and opportunities in the labour market;
- support the educational needs among girls to complement existing opportunities available within the official education system through Educational Support Units and work with Palestinian women graduates to provide them with skills and experience needed in order to enter the job market through the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP);
- raise awareness about domestic violence in the community and provide women with the skills to prevent it and protect themselves;
- establish a sector-wide Gender-Based Violence Referral System to provide a comprehensive and enhanced service delivery to survivors of violence and improve reporting of incidents;
- increase access to services and empower female heads of households by setting up information workshops for these women to give them the much needed information and skills they require to improve their situation;
- build the capacity of organisations in Gaza that work on women's issues.
UNRWA prioritises providing female beneficiaries and staff with every opportunity to achieve equality. In line with the above activities, the following are the focus of action advanced by the Gender Initiative:
- reversing the current rates of abuse within the home by implementing projects that address prevention of and protection from domestic violence;
- maximising employment opportunities for women of all abilities and capacities in the UNRWA Job Creation Programme and the Graduate Training Programme;
- target women who face particular socio-economic hardships and include them in skills-building and recreational activities;
- implementing the UNRWA organisation-wide gender mainstreaming strategy;
- building on and strengthening UNRWAs successful Microfinance and Micro-enterprise Programme for women and men through the implementation of a gender mainstreaming strategy.
These activities collectively reinforce UNRWAs vision of human development for all Palestinians: the realisation of individual, familial and community potential; productive participation in socio-economic and cultural life and the defence and protection of human rights.
Gaza Field Office
UNRWA Gender Initiative "Equality in Action"