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Working with local Women’s Rights Organizations (WROs) in the West Bank to serve marginalized Palestinian women who face violence, food insecurity, and unemployment.

Even in this time of immense grief, sorrow, and anger, our 30-year history of working in conflict zones also offers us hope. Three decades ago, during the siege of Sarajevo and the Rwandan genocide, it was hard to imagine a day when women survivors of those wars would be thriving and, in some cases, working closely with sisters on the other side of those conflicts. And yet, through Women for Women International programs, survivors of those wars are building peace.

When we invest in women survivors of war, they create more peaceful households, communities, and societies—building bridges across what at the outset might appear to be impossible divides. 

The Situation for Women in Palestine: 

  • 59% of women in the West Bank and Gaza reported suffering at least one form of GBV by their husband according UNFPA.  

  • 31% of households in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and 19% in Gaza have reported concerns about the safety and security of girls according to UN-OCHA Protection of Civilians report.  

  • 11.5% of the females in registered marriages in 2021 were under the age of 18 years old, reports Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).  

“The stress is taking a toll on everyone. My husband is unemployed because of the closures, and our relationship problems are on the rise.”

– Hotline support recipient in the West Bank, Palestine

Pilot Program in Palestine: 

WfWI has been piloting a program with Women's Rights Organizations (WROs) in the West Bank for the past year to support women who face violence, food insecurity, and unemployment in an area of prolonged conflict. Our work is focused on prevention of and response to violence against women, as well as supporting women to realize their social and economic power.  

Palestine Programs
Program participant during sweets and pastries production training.

Through our local partners, Family Defense Society, Sawa – Together Today and Tomorrow, Jerusalem Centre for Women, we are assisting women survivors of violence, providing psychosocial services, and offering vocational skills training such as in sweets and pastries production, beauty care, hairdressing, and fashion design.  

We believe supporting women to realize their social and economic power is an investment in building pathways to peace.   

Adapting to Meet the Urgent Needs of Women: 

We are devastated by the increasing number of lives lost and the suffering of women and children in the escalating horrific violence since October 7.  

We have been assessing gaps in the humanitarian response to determine how we can provide emergency women-centered support. Even as we continue to assess those growing needs, given we already have trusted partners on the ground in the West Bank, we believe we can best respond immediately to the urgent needs of women survivors of this conflict in the West Bank. The situation in the West Bank is getting worse, but it isn’t getting the coverage that Gaza or Israel are getting and is falling through the cracks of humanitarian response.   

With severe restrictions to their movement, employment, and income, families are suffering financially. Tensions are growing as people are trapped in their homes, leading to upsurges in domestic disputes and violence. As the crisis intensifies, women and their families have limited access to health and medical facilities, clean water, and essential food items. Access to menstrual supplies, milk for babies, and diapers is becoming more difficult for women who live in refugee camps in the West Bank. 

“Due to the ongoing closures, my husband is unable to work, and the economic situation is dire. With children to care for, I'm uncertain about the future and when this crisis will come to an end. My fears are overwhelming.”

– Hotline support recipient in the West Bank, Palestine

Join Us in Making a Difference: 

We are supporting Women’s Rights Organizations (WROs) in the West Bank whom we’ve been working with since last year to meet the rapidly growing needs of women with economic, social, and psychosocial support. With and through these partners, women can access telephone hotlines for trauma-informed counseling, cash assistance, hygiene kits, and other essential items. One of our partners on the ground has already redirected a portion of our existing grant, originally earmarked for trainings, to now provide immediate assistance in terms of food vouchers so women can purchase necessary food or non-food items from local shops. 

We will continue to evaluate the needs as the situation evolves. 

As a non-partisan organization that has worked with women survivors of war for thirty years, we condemn violence against civilians everywhere. It is our hope that all parties will uphold the International Humanitarian Law under which all civilians must be protected and are ensured safe and timely access to humanitarian aid.  

Our hearts are with our Israeli and Palestinian sisters and their families as they grapple with the atrocities and profound trauma inflicted upon them. 

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Statement on Israel-Palestine Conflict

We are horrified by the atrocities on women and their families in the Israel-Palestine conflict. We are mourning all of the lives lost.

Palestine Woman Behind Fence
Make an emergency donation to support women facing horrific consequences of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Your gift today helps provide: cash, food, diapers, hygiene kits, and trauma counseling.