8 March 2012
Celebrating both women and men who promote gender equality in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA held its third annual awards ceremony last week to name the Woman of the Year and Man of Equality in Action. Organised by the UNRWA Gaza Women’s Committee (UWGC), the event acknowledged the work being done to break down barriers for women at UNRWA – both the women who work for the Agency as well as Palestine refugee women who receive its services.
“With over 6,000 women employed by UNRWA in Gaza, the vast majority of whom are refugees themselves, we benefit firsthand from the contributions of women to the realisation of our mission,” said UNRWA’s Christer Nordahl. “The Woman of the Year award recognises the hard work and perseverance of UNRWA’s strong female workforce and the impact of their work on the 1.1 million refugees we serve in Gaza.”
Established in 2008 to foster gender equity and equality internally at UNRWA, the UGWC provides women who work for UNRWA with mechanisms to amplify their voices and to more actively participate in the work of the Agency. Throughout the year, the Committee reaches out to more than 3,000 female staff in Gaza through professional development opportunities such as information and communications technology training and English-language courses, as well as health promotion.
By strengthening the role of women within the Agency, the UGWC allows for the perspectives of women to take a greater role in the formulation and delivery of Agency programming. Offering a unique view of the needs and challenges of Palestinian women living in the Gaza Strip, the Committee has empowered women to implement changes that will improve services for Palestine refugee women.
“With the encouragement this event fosters among our colleagues, we can maximise our efforts, and out of our determination we will prove that we can be better and we will be better,” said Dr. Ghada Al-Jadba, chair of the UGWC. “This is the Palestinian human and this is the Palestinian woman. We always aspire to advance.”