From where I stand: “My dream is to open the first baby photography studio in Palestine”


Doaa Eshtayeh, from Nablus, Palestine, found her talent and passion in photography and has made it her profession. Doaa is the main provider for her family, thanks to the support she received through a UN Women project that helped her develop her skills and buy the equipment she needed.

Doaa Eshtayeh. Photo: UN Women/Carlos Pérez Osorio

I have been a breadwinner for the last three years, raising two children, a four-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. My son Islam suffers from severe autism. As my husband cannot work, I decided to become a photographer to support my family.

At first, I didn’t know where to start as it requires a lot of money to buy photography equipment. I specialize in photographing babies and infants, which takes a lot time and preparation. I love babies and I am very patient when taking photos of babies.

I heard about the Business Women Forum in 2018, which supports women who need assistance in growing their businesses. I was selected to be one of the trainees and they helped me improve my photography skills and taught me how to expand my business. The project also funded me to buy a brand-new photo printer so that I could print high definition photos at home.

My children are my biggest motivation to keep going and improve myself. But it’s difficult balancing my responsibility for my son’s special needs and my work.

Nevertheless, I advise every woman to start her own business to be independent and to become a leader in her community.

My dream is to open the first baby photography studio in Palestine. Many pregnant women and mothers in Palestine dream of getting good photos of their babies and children. My studio will be the place for them.”

Doaa Eshtayeh, 30, is a photographer specializing in infant and children’s photography. As a beneficiary of the Business Women Forum’s Women Championships Project, which provided six-month training and photo equipment she needed to develop her own business, Doaa found a way to support her family while pursuing her passion for photography. The Business Women Forum is an implementing partner of UN Women’ Decent Work for Women programme, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). Doaa’s story also reflects how roles of women within families are changing, around the world, and with the right kind of support, such as access to skills, decent work and redistribution of care work at home, women and their families can thrive. See UN Women’s new report, Progress of the World’s Women 2019 – 2020 for data and stories about families.