ILO, GIZ and UNRWA education programme launch women’s photography course

11 January 2011

11 January 2011
Ramallah, West Bank

UNRWA’s education programme in the West Bank launched a new photography course for female refugee students as well as vulnerable females and survivors of gender-based violence who come from socio-economically disadvantaged families.

The course will be implemented in Ramallah Women Training Center (RWTC) and will target 20 refugee female trainees.

The female refugee graduates will, by June 2011, have acquired market-relevant skills in photography and computer literacy, as well as life skills and entrepreneurship skills to improve their job opportunities and self confidence.

The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of UNRWA, International Labour Organization (ILO) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) officials, national partners and other actors in the field of vocational training.

This course will be managed and implemented by the UNRWA education programme, in partnership with ILO and GIZ. ILO will provide UNRWA with expertise and funding through the Spanish government for the joint MDG-F programme, gender equality and women’s empowerment in the occupied Palestinian territory. GIZ, the main partner to the Palestinian Authority for the national technical and vocational education and training (TVET) strategy and employment strategy, has contributed with training and supervision of trainers, expertise in curricula development and teaching. Furthermore, GIZ’s methods of teaching and curricula will be employed in the course.

The launch of this course will improve the economic participation of women in the West Bank in general. However, initiating this course at RWTC aims to provide young female Palestinians with a decent standard of living through enhanced employment opportunities.

This new field of TVET for female students is part of a broader effort to address poverty among young Palestinians. Following a joint consultation with the TVET main actors and based on the TVET assessment study‘s findings and recommendations that was conducted by ILO: (Mainstreaming Gender Equality Concerns in Palestinian TVET system), the photography course was identified as a vocational opportunity for women that reflects a need in the market.

The training programme responds to UNRWA and GIZ’s declared priority to expand the range of courses and further measures available to girls who are unable to get general secondary education certificate. Vocational targeting programmes are much needed, as reflected by the low rate of women’s participation in the Palestinian labor force (15.4 per cent). In addition, there is a high unemployment rate (estimated at above 30 per cent) among young Palestinians in general.

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 56 million.

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