A PLACE FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT THE HEART OF THE WEST-BANK
Located about sixty kilometres north of Jerusalem, the city of Nablus became famous as one of the main battlegrounds between the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and the Palestinians during the Second Intifada. Between 2000 and 2009, the free movement of goods and people in and out of the Israeli army checkpoint of Huwara were restricted, paralysing the city’s economy. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, between 2000 and 2005, 522 civilians were killed and 3,104 injured during IDF military operations. Many factories were destroyed by bombing and by IDF bulldozers leaving many workers without a job.
In this scenario of poverty and widespread unemployment, a small group of women, helped by the city of Nablus, started a project in 2010 called “Women’s Corner”; a community to support women’s entrepreneurship and in turn contribute to the city’s economy. With its headquarters in the Cultural Centre of Nablus (HamdiManko), in the western part of the city, this initiative offers women a space to develop and market their creations. It organises exhibitions to showcase their work and products in the West Bank and abroad, and facilitates the relations between the women and potential buyers, including local companies and institutions.
The Women’s Corner helps artisans and artists to professionalise their craft, offering various types of training and support; including mastering modern techniques to produce more saleable products, real marketing and computer science courses, and the opportunity to receive psychological support.
A special corner made of paintings, drawings, embroidered objects produced according to tradition, as well as children’s games, jewellery, accessories and much more. A female corner symbol of the desire of the women of Nablus to live, produce and be in contact with the rest of the world despite the limits imposed by an ever-present conflict.