Women in Palestinian society have limited opportunities to work and to provide for themselves and their families due to the patriarchal societal structure and economic situation in Palestine. The Israeli occupation also has a devastating effect on women, often turning them into widows or imprisoning their husbands — the sole providers for their families — for long periods of time. While the Palestinian Authority has created a social welfare program in recent years, its reach is limited and most women do not qualify to receive support. As a result, many women and their families are living in poverty, and most live in deep poverty (more than 50% below the poverty line).
Al Tariq is seeking to empower Palestinian women to earn income for their families in a dignified and socially acceptable way by creating sewing and embroidery cooperatives — safe, uni -sex work environments that provide job opportunities for uneducated women. The cooperatives will be run by women, increasing the number of opportunities for women in leadership positions and all members of the cooperative will have the opportunity to participate in workshops that serve their social needs and connect them with other women who are struggling with similar economic, social and political situations.
We are still looking for financial support to get these cooperatives started, one in Dahashe Refugee Camp and another in Nabi Saleh. Each sewing machine costs $1000 and can provide $7000 of income to a woman in a year. For uneducated Palestinian women, who have nearly no opportunities to work, this is an incredible opportunity to strengthen them and their families.
If you would like to donate funds towards a sewing machine or organize to raise funds for one, please see our page about supporting our projects and organizing events. We have also written a full proposal with budget for this project and would be happy to send you or your organization a copy upon request.