Bank of Palestine provided its main sponsorship for the activities of the women’s bazar that was organized by the Ministry of National Economy last week under the title “persistence to continue our journey.” Israr bazar, which aims to provide support for women’s products, was held under the patronage of His Excellency Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayeh, and featured the participation of 75 women entrepreneurs, as part of the activities of the national day in support of Palestinian products, which was assigned by the government to be held on the first of November of every year. The bazar was held at Al Karmel Hotel in the city of Ramallah, with the participation of several ministers, officials and representatives from the private and public sectors and civil society. It was held over a period of two days in partnership with the Association of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Paltel Group and the media sponsor Ajyal Radio.

Mr. Thaer Hamayel, the Chief of Businesses Retail officer at Bank of Palestine, stressed the importance of the bazar in supporting women’s products, which form part of the activities of the national day in support of Palestinian products. He pointed out that the bank’s sponsorship stems from its endeavors in the field of corporate social responsibility, which aim to support and empower Palestinian women, allow them to obtain their rightful place in society, become independent and participate in social and economic life.  

Mr. Hamayel also pointed out the bank’s belief in supporting women on the internal and external levels as part of its strategy that include various activities, mainly the launch of the Felestineya Program, which aims to provide several banking awareness meetings that target over 2,000 women across the Palestinian governorates annually. The program also provides training and development on leadership, management and marketing skills, to name a few, including the provision of comprehensive support and non-financial consulting services. The bank also launched the competition for selecting the best project plan or startup and encouraged women to register their projects at the chamber of commerce by paying their registration fees. It also launched a series of facilitation programs that include the provision of security free loans.

According the Hamayel, “there are many success stories of business women who were part of the Felestineya Program, and who proved their ability to work and succeed.” “Since 2015, approximately 110 business women from across the Palestinian governorates graduated from the Felestineya Program,” according to Hamayal, whereby “the program was evaluated by an external body that monitored the graduates and their projects.”

Mr. Khaled Osaily, the Minister of National Economy, stressed upon the efforts conducted by the ministry to include women in the economic process through the allocation of additional programs and projects that encourage the expansion of women’s production and operation base, especially small and micro projects. Osaily also stressed the importance of allowing women to access funding sources in partnership with local and international partners.

Dr. Amal Hamad, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, stressed the importance of encouraging and supporting the products of Palestinian women considering their importance in eradicating poverty, which is the main mission of Palestine on the part of various United Nations entities and the real partners from the private sector.

Dr. Layla Ghannam, the Governor of Ramallah and Al Bireh, stressed the importance of the bazar, which reflects the real partnership between the various components of Palestinian society and strives to promote and include women in the Palestinian economy. Ghannam pointed out the many and different women success stories in various fields.

According to Mr. Abdul Ghani Al Attari, the President of the Ramallah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and representative of the Association of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, “the variety of products presented in this bazar is the best example on the high capabilities of Palestinian women in providing state of the art products in terms of quality, design and packaging.” “We should seriously consider supporting these products and cooperating on a marketing level to promote them locally through establishing networks with retail centers, hotels and restaurants, and study the possibility of promoting exportable goods in international markets.”

Al Attari called upon all women participants to contact the women’s business units at the chambers of commerce and industry and the Association of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in order to transform their projects from the irregular to the regular sector, establish networking opportunities, benefit from the various vocational and managerial training and development programs offered, and establish networks with civil society and international organizations that provide support and development for women’s projects.

Ms. Hanin Abu Ghosh, a survivor of a car accident, provided an exceptional example to women participants. She encouraged them to work continuously and maintain their activeness despite the difficult circumstances and challenging environment. According to Abu Ghosh, “women are able to succeed despite the many difficult challenges they are confronted with. All their need is persistence and perseverance.” “Palestinian women are strong by nature, and endured a great deal on their journey to achieve success,” she added.

The bazar is implemented in partnership with several organizations from the private sector, providing a real opportunity for promoting the products of women participants and assisting them in marketing their products through the establishment of networking and coordinating with several marketing companies. Citizens are introduced to the quality, uniqueness and diversity of these products, thus increasing their shares in the local market.