Research and consultancy for the inclusion of women with disabilities in the Gaza Strip

Location: Gaza Strip (Palestine)

Duration: January – March 2017

Project Title: “WE WORK: socio-economic inclusion of women with disabilities in the Gaza Strip”(AID10586/EDUCAID/TAP)

Client: Educaid

Funding: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Partnership: Gaza Chamber of Commerce and Industry, S.D.F. – Social Developmental Forum, El Amal Rehabilitation Society. RIDS (“Rete Italiana Disabilità e Sviluppo”) composed of  AIFO – “Associazione Italiana Amici di Raoul Follereau”, FISH – “Federazione Italiana per il Superamento dell’Handicap” and DPI-Italia Onlus – Disabled People’s International.

Context

Empowerment, self-determination, and the decision-making capacity of women with disabilities increase when they get a paid job. A key issue for the inclusion of women with disabilities in Palestine involves gaining access to the labor market. Labor-related issues and cultural factors — such as the widespread belief that the skills of disabled women are inadequate — hinder the emancipation process.

General objective

The WE WORK project helped unemployed disabled women enter the labor market and supported those who had already found employment. We also counseled and trained beneficiaries, and raised awareness of women’s rights in Palestinian society, particularly the right to work.

What we did

In order to encourage the inclusion of women with disabilities, ARCO interviewed female entrepreneurs with disabilities, inspected various enterprises, and held meetings and interviews with key informants.

The final report consisted of:

  • Interview data that discussed the current conditions of 14 micro-businesses that are run by women with disabilities
  • Assessments of eight business dimensions, including marketing and communication tools, the organization’s willingness to create partnerships, and financial/entrepreneurial capabilities
  • An intervention plan that featured proposals and suggestions that might enhance the economic performance of the enterprises
  • Suggestions on future projects by Educaid on this specific topic

Read more on the work ARCO carried out in Palestine, here.