Opening up Barriers to Movement
Our partner Gisha (Access) exist to protect the right to freedom of movement and to increase access for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, particularly focusing on women and young people.
- Only 3% of professional permits are granted to women
- 1/3 of Gazan residents have family in the West Bank or Israel
- 89% of women under 30 can’t find employment in Gaza
Each journey into or out of Gaza requires a permit, and due to stringent criteria, most are blocked. This has far-reaching implications on all aspects of life, but disproportionately harms women, when it comes to economic and family access. They work on an individual and national level, formulating policy changes and supporting 1,000 people a year (over ½ of which are women) with legal assistance to remove travel restrictions. Each case fought has life-changing implications: increased economic opportunities and the long-awaited reunification of families. The exposure also increases public awareness of restrictions and brings the subject into Israeli discourse.
These restrictions have severe implications on employment options, exacerbating women’s exclusion from the local job market and a lack of access to training programs and professional development opportunities, creates an additional ceiling that limits potential and growth for women and their livelihoods.
Women traditionally relocate to their husband’s family, cutting them off from family outside the Strip.
Huda, a Palestinian-Israeli moved to the Gaza Strip after marrying a Gazan resident. Israel’s criteria for travel by Palestinians do not include childbirth – even for the child’s father. Leaving Huda to give birth to her eldest child alone in Israel. They then decided to have their other children in Gaza, but Huda was left without the support of her family.
“It was very difficult. I really needed my mother and sisters beside me.”