With U.S. aid cuts, Palestinian women pay biggest price

Palestinian school girls stand in front of a mural painted on their school wall, in the Mediterranean beachfront al-Shati Palestinian refugee camp, the third largest in the Palestinian Territories, in Gaza City on March 13, 2013. Photo By Wissam Nassar/Flash90

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. aid went toward Palestinian women’s rights advocacy programs over the past several years. Among the aid recipients is Kayan, a feminist organization protecting the rights and advancing the status of Palestinian women in Israel, which was awarded a grant by the U.S. government for a project that strives to end sexual harassment in the workplace. In the West Bank and Gaza, the American-funded “Women’s Courts” project aimed to reduce gender-based violence in Palestinian communities through legislative reforms and policy changes.

Palestine is the only country in the Middle East and North Africa that has acceded to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) without reservations or declarations. Palestinian women are among the most educated in the region, and while more women are entering the workforce today than 10 years ago, the rates are still lower compared to regional averages, according to a 2017 World Bank report.
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