The store has forged steadily ahead, securing the three women an income to live on, and leading as a new business in the area. “The requests keep coming in as the restrictions are easing and more weddings and special occasions are taking place. We are very proud to be able to secure an income of atleast US$ 200 a month, sustain our business, and reach where we are now”.
During the pandemic, the three women were looking for opportunities to work and contribute to the heath sector in Gaza. They contacted the Ministry of Health and were granted approval to produce the white lab coat for the doctors who are also benefiting from the Cash for Work programme. They provided 100 coats and kept their business afloat during the crisis. The team also won the first prize in the fashion design exhibition organized in February 2021.
“Some people may think that businesses managed by women are doomed to fail. We heard many presuppositions, but we persevered because our business is well-planned and our objects are clear. We do not mix our personal relationships with work related issues. We ensure we are all aware of the details and the actions required. During the COVID-19 crisis, we insisted to continue together, and we will always do,” Maysoon, Rasmya and Areej concluded.
The support provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation through a US$ 5.1 million fund enabled 2,253 young men and women to receive training or short-term job opportunities across the Gaza Strip, in addition to almost 140 projects that were incubated, including Fashion Sabaya.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate for males in the State of Palestine reached 20% compared to 37% for females in the fourth quarter of 2020. In Gaza, the unemployment rate among young women (15-29) reached 92%, compared to 63.2% unemployment among men in the same age group. There is also a gap in the average daily wages between women and men (the average daily wage for women was US$29.6 compared to US$30.8 for men).