Women on the West Bank fight poverty with enterprise
A few short years after the war in Gaza, women in the West Bank are overcoming poverty by running their own co-operatives. With training, marketing assistance, and funding from several aid agencies, the women have been able to set up their own small businesses.
The economy is shrinking, and the chance to earn a decent living is simply not a realistic prospect for many. But on the outskirts of the city of Ramallah, Elham Sa’ah runs a small supermarket. With a loan from the Economic and Social Development Centre of Palestine and New Farm Company, along with input from aid agency, Oxfam and the UK’s Department for International Development, the cooperative has grown and now has more than 20 women working for it. Most of the women work part-time to earn extra income for their family. Some of their goods have been exported as far as Saudi Arabia and are sold in 50 supermarkets across the West Bank.