Introduction – Purpose

To understand how the last decade of violent conflict has affected women's economic security and rights in the Gaza Strip

More specifically to:

  • Uncover the diverse livelihood strategies Gazan women have developed in order to sustain their households during the past decade of economic collapse and impoverishment
  • Analyze the complex obstacles women must navigate in order to undertake economic roles, and how the different stages of crisis have affected them
  • Understand whether meeting these challenges has led to transformations in women's roles and responsibilities and to an expansion of their economic rights within households and in Gaza more generally
  • Assess the role of humanitarian interventions in enabling women's livelihood strategies in the Gaza Strip

Introduction – Methodology

Multiple data sources:

  • Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) – data sets relevant to understanding women's economic activism in the Gaza Strip
  • Desk review of studies on various dimensions of the prolonged crisis in Gaza as they relate to gender and economic livelihoods
  • Focus group discussions with Gazan women across different communities and engaged in different livelihood strategies (total of 17)
  • In-depth interviews with women whose experiences highlighted critical issues uncovered in the focus groups (total of 12)

Issues and Area Covered

Women's strategies in the three areas of economic activity where most active:

  • Public Sector Employment
  • Agriculture
  • Self-employment in the Informal Sector

Within each:

  • Issues and dynamics women face specific to the particular activity
  • The role of gender norms and constraints
  • The differential impact of siege, economic blockade, internal violence and Israeli military violence
  • Women’s access to and control over economic assets
  • The role of humanitarian interventions

The Gaza Context

A decade of crisis – Four main phases

  • Phase 1 – 2000-2005: Internal and External Siege
  • Phase 2 – 2006-2007: Internal Political Violence
  • Phase 3 – 2007 – Present: Blockade
  • Phase 4 – 12/2008-01/2009: “Operation Cast Lead”

“Crisis” is prolonged, multi-layered, comprehensive and cumulative.


Document symbol: UNWoman_Gaza
Download Document Files: UNWoman_Gaza.pdf
Document Type: Report, Study
Document Sources: UN Women
Subject: Economic issues, Gaza Strip, Women
Publication Date: 17/11/2011