The UNRWA Young Women Leaders Programme provides training on the right to work

06 February 2019
A class of new graduates photographed here during a training course. These workshops aimed to improve female graduates’ employment opportunities in Gaza and were funded by the Government of the Balearic Islands. © 2018 UNRWA Photo

The UNRWA Young Women Leaders Programme (YWLP) has finalized implementation of the “Improving Young Graduate Women’s Right to Work in the Gaza Strip through the Provision of Professional Internships” Project funded by the Spanish regional Baleares government. The project provided ninety new female graduates with employment empowerment training. Some fifty-five of them were offered short-term employment opportunities, including work-placements with local community based organizations.

The UNRWA Young Women Leaders Programme, managed through the Agency’s Gender Initiative, targets fresh female graduates to enhance their basic skills and provide short-term employment opportunities for the purpose of promoting their experience in their respective fields of study. The training provided by this project focused on relevant issue areas, essential for enabling fresh female graduates to integrate into the labour market. The project provides training on leadership, management and self-confidence, advancement of English proficiency, advancement of information technology training, in addition to awareness raising sessions on gender-based violence (GBV). To fulfil the objective of economic empowerment through professional internships, UNRWA also facilitated the integration of fifty-five fresh graduates to work placement opportunities from August through December 2018.

The unemployment rate in Gaza continues to skyrocket. Young women are especially affected by this, with some 89 per cent of them unemployed. The long-standing blockade and resulting deteriorating economy, collapsing infrastructure and fragile political situation, are all factors in their challenge for employment. Targeted interventions such as YWLP provide a vital lifetime for Palestine refugee youth, and are a crucial response to the challenges faced by the people of Gaza.

The Agency’s cooperation with the Balear Government began in 2007 and has continued through to today. The Balearic government has contributed to several UNRWA programmes and projects across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), with a special focus on food assistance under the UNRWA oPt Emergency Appeal.