Women’s Empowerment in Khirbet Sir
Yesterday’s visit in the village of Khirbet Sir, close to Azzun, showed the IWPS team a good example of how people are helping each other reach their wishes for a better quality of life. While visiting the mayor’s home, the room filled up with family members and neighbors, all of whom wanted to join the meeting.
“We are fighting to survive here,” one woman said. Most of the houses in the village are empty, since the villagers have to travel abroad to make money. Most of the 600 people living in Sir are well educated, but have troubles finding a good job. The people at the meeting expressed their strong will to work, but because of the inflation there are not a lot of jobs, and the occupation makes it difficult for people to travel.
One man even broke his leg while trying to climb the Apartheid Wall. As many other Palestinians, he was trying to go to Palestine ’48 for work opportunities. Unfortunately he couldn’t get a working permit from Israel and therefore tried to get to the other side by climbing a ladder up the Wall. This is one of the many ways in which people in Palestine put themselves at risk for getting an opportunity for bread-winning.
Today, a lot of the village’s children are asking why they should invest in good education. They can’t find a job and most of the people are living on loans.
IWPS team met up with the women’s group in Sir, which started an economic project for creating and selling cleaning products such as dish- and floor-washing liquid and soap. They decided to sell their products in several local shops and hope to expand the production to include haircare products as well. The women where all very determined. They were chatting and laughing, while they expressed their hopes that this project would bring them a chance for a better life.
By getting together and creating a business, the women hope to be able to pay for their children’s education so that they can be part of developing Palestine.