Results at a Glance
For over a decade, UN Women has worked with excluded and marginalized rural women in the oPt to improve their standard of living towards achieving social, economic and political security and rights. Through the establishment of 50 women community-based centres, adopting the SABAYA approach, it is estimated that UN Women has facilitated the provision of services to at least 55,000 Palestinians, the majority of whom are women and girls.
Through the successful development of business models, UN Women has also helped to strengthen the sustainability of women-community-based centres and increase the opportunities for women to access sustainable employment opportunities and a secure monthly income that contribute to their livelihoods. As of 2013, through the women-run school canteen programme alone, 23 women centres have reached financial sustainability, with 323 women accessing a secure monthly income that corresponds to the Palestinian minimum wage standard. An additional 18 community-based organizations are being supported towards financial independence, while providing part-time work and an associated income for an additional 170 women. The programme had to challenge cultural and traditional norms, but has ultimately raised strong support from the community itself, which is resulting in additional income-generating opportunities for the women. Beyond the direct benefits to the centres and their women workers, the programme is also benefiting 245 schools where the women-run businesses operate, with over 77,500 school children being offered healthy nutritional food. Building on the success of the women-run school canteens business model, UN Women is now helping the Ministry of Education in the development of a national policy for women community-based organizations to run schools canteens at the national level. The nationalization of the women-run school canteen model represents a tremendous opportunity to amplify the positive outcomes of the model to more women and an additional number of community-based women organizations, with overall a greater delivery of services usually hard to reach in marginalized areas, and potential new opportunities of self-employment.