LOCATION: Buruqin Municipality, Salfit Governorate
The women of Buruqin west of Salfit have traditionally not played an active role outside the home. The Buruqin Women Society was established to respond to women’s needs and to provide opportunities for social as well as economic development. The organization is housed in a newly renovated historic building that is owned and managed by the Buruqin municipal council. It started out with a few pieces of furniture and held meetings and the occasional health or women’s rights training session. A 2009 Community Leadership Empowerment Program award furnished the organization with a computer lab and basic administrative furniture, raising the profile of women in Buruqin and equipping the center to organize its own activities. Membership increased and the Buruqin Women Society became a serious player within the community. The board members of the organization struggled to remain responsive to expectations from the community and sustain their newfound influence. The Community Leadership Empowerment Program strategic planning process accomplished this by enabling the board members to convene discussions with the women of Buruqin to identify their needs. As a result of these discussions, the center used its second Community Leadership Empowerment Program award to purchase 13 sewing machines to help bring economic independence to the women of Buruqin. With a fully functional computer lab and sewing machines, the Buruqin Women Society has demonstrated its responsiveness to the community by providing two vital, previously unavailable services to the town’s women.