Economically empowering rural women in Jenin not only helps to contribute to their well-being, that of their families and their rural communities, but also to the economic productivity of the area, given their high presence in the agricultural workforce.
This is the objective of the Social Promotion Foundation project financed by the Regional Government of Valencia and implemented together with our local partner, Rural Women’s Development Society (RWDS).
During the past months of August and September, different training sessions were carried out in the elaboration of traditional Palestinian sweets by seven women’s cooperatives.
The work that has been carried out with these production units now faces its final stretch and, as part of the improvement of the productive capacities of these groups of women, the women members of each cooperative have been able to attend a series of sessions in recent weeks practices on the elaboration of handmade sweets.
These workshops, taught by an expert in each of the cooperatives located in the Jenin governorate, had the purpose of providing women with new production skills and thus allowing them to expand the portfolio of products currently offered in the cooperatives.
Throughout three different sessions, the women members of each cooperative held workshops on making Ma’amul, Kaak Bi Ajwa (small buns filled with dates) and trilece cake, very common in Palestinian pastries, and other more generic ones such as croissant, cinnamon bun, or donuts.
In addition to helping to improve the skills of these centers, this activity has also aroused great interest among the local population and has led to new women becoming interested in the work of the cooperatives and applying to join them.
The vast majority of women who participated in these sessions found them very useful, as reflected in the responses to the questionnaires they completed at the end of the sessions.
Several comments we received also pointed out that, in general, having restarted activities in these cooperatives and helping them with the purchase of new equipment has managed to lift the spirits of their members in many localities. In contexts as difficult as Jenin, having an occupation of this type is of great help and works as an element of social cohesion.
At the same time, the consultative process to draft the statutes and internal regulations of the Network of Cooperatives established between these seven production units was completed, the purpose of which is to improve coordination between these centers, creating synergies at the production level and marketing of their products. The cooperatives will proceed in the coming weeks to elect by vote the members of their General Assembly, the body in charge of managing the network, and those of the Board of Directors, an advisory body that will include representatives of the competent authorities such as the Ministry of Agriculture. , the Ministry of Labor, or the Jenin Chamber of Commerce.