LOCATION: Hindaza Village, Bethlehem Governorate
The Al Obayyat Women Society works with women in the remote and underserved village of Hindaza southeast of Bethlehem. The organization, which offers training on gender and human rights as well as conflict resolution and elections, was at first not skilled in advocating for its own cause: in Hindaza women and girls were not allowed to leave home without permission from their fathers or husbands. A 2009 CLEP award of a computer lab enabled two members of the Al Obayyat Women Society to land jobs because of their newly learned computer skills. This event began to improve the village men’s perception of the Al Obayyat Women Society. Recognizing their own power to positively impact the financial burdens that villagers face, the leaders of the Al Obayyat Women Society used the CLEP strategic planning process to focus on income generation. The second CLEP award of high-end sewing machines has enabled the Al Obayyat Women Society to support women facing serious economic hardship to sustain themselves creating and selling embroidery. Now the villagers of Hindaza are seeing the Al Obayyat Women Society as a positive force that benefits the entire community.