March 2017. There are more than 900,000 women living in Gaza. They are young, educated and have immense potential as employees, entrepreneurs, and change makers. But the restrictions Israel imposes diminish their ability to fulfill their aspirations. The rate of unemployment among women in Gaza is almost 65%, small businesses have no real chance of growing, and many men cannot find work, further reducing any opportunities that might be available to women. Women rarely meet the criteria set by Israel for obtaining merchant permits and traveling through Erez Crossing, as they mostly work in civil society organizations, public service or small businesses – professional fields seldom acknowledged by Israel as warranting exit permits.
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