Women’s DEED is a 3-year (2014-2016) project aimed at increasing women’s economic development by establishing and operating women-led small businesses based in PSD’s community centers.
Despite an overall increase in the number of women continuing higher education in the Palestinian territories over the last 10 years, a high proportion of rural women still demonstrate low rates of continued education and face significant barriers to developing themselves. The economic environment, characterized by a low growth rate and limited job opportunities, restricts growth and development; social and cultural factors and the types of jobs available limit opportunities for women even further. Currently, just 16.6 percent of women participate in the labor force in Palestine, compared to 68.7 percent of men. While social and cultural norms play a large role, lack of mobility and limited access to information contribute to underdeveloped skills and low numbers in continued education and sustainable employment. They limit the potential of women and their ability to contribute to the labor market. A high percentage of women work from the home or offer services locally, often for free. Others are reluctant to enter the job market, even when opportunities do present themselves.