The inability of almost all Palestinian authorities to operate in East Jerusalem, forced restrictions on the movement of goods/persons and bans on the access to infrastructures and services for the 320,000 Palestinian residents in the city have contributed to widespread food insecurity and impoverishment. The protection crisis that has been going on for more than 50 years is therefore getting worse, eroding the resilience of many families.
This is also reflected by the marked disparity between gender employment opportunities: the rate of Palestinian women's participation in the workforce is currently 19.3%, while the male rate is 71.6%. The pay gap is as significant: the average daily wage for women is 83.3 NIS, compared to 114.1 NIS for men.
COOPI meets the protection needs of the most vulnerable population, in particular women, with the purpose of mitigating the situation. The intervention takes place in East Jerusalem in the districts of Isawyia and Silwan, which are among the most disadvantaged due to both socio-economic factors and for having been among the most targeted by demolition measures.
The first project goal – increasing protection and resilience of the affected population - will be pursued through the development of leadership skills of 20 women and their knowledge in psychological first aid. At the same time, 6 "empowerment groups" will be created to support women who have survived or are at risk of GBV (Gender-Based Violence), with the support of counselling sessions. Two community awareness campaigns will also be implemented with the aim of reaching 5,000 project members as well as neighbourhoods, to be supported by a nationwide campaign.
The second goal is to increase the training offered by local institutions to stimulate more employment opportunities, and will consist in the development of technical and professional skills of the female beneficiaries targeted by the project. 90 members of the 6 empowerment groups will have access to guidance support on training courses, which will also be provided with during open days and related workshops.
This series of interventions not only aims to build professional figures required by the labour market, but also to encourage the growth of micro-entrepreneurship and self-employment in sectors with high demand, so as to counter the widespread vulnerability through the development of businesses and local networks.