The impact of the closure on women in Gaza

Students in Gaza. Photo: Eman Mohammed

Students in Gaza. Photo: Eman Mohammed

March 8, 2018. To mark International Women’s Day, Gisha has released a new publication on the impact of the closure on women in Gaza.

Women, who account for 49% of the population of the Strip, are particularly susceptible to the repercussions of the severe limitations imposed by Israel on the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza. As such, they bear a heavy share of the social and economic costs associated with the tightening of the closure in 2007.

Limitations imposed on economic activity, which are inherent to Israel’s policy of closure, have left their mark on the job market in the Strip. As a result, women struggle to find employment and participate in developing Gaza’s economy.

More than 85% of women in Gaza’s workforce work in service sector professions, such as teaching and nursing. Others work in civil society organizations, small businesses, and some in professions previously monopolized by men, such as banking, investment, and management. Under Israel’s limited criteria for movement out of Gaza, people working in these fields are not eligible to apply for exit permits for the purpose of pursuing professional development. Israel’s restrictive permit regime also limits women’s choices for higher education, hinders the work of civil society organizations, including women’s rights organizations, and infringes upon women’s right to family life.

The factsheet is based on more than 12 years of Gisha’s ongoing research on the impact of the closure on family life, the economy, and civil society from the perspective of women. It aims to present Gisha’s key findings on the unique ways in which the policy of closure on Gaza affects the lives of Palestinian women residents of the Strip. The report also makes recommendations for steps that must be taken in order to counteract violations of women’s fundamental human rights – primarily, the right to freedom of movement.

Read the full publication in PDF