New Statistics on Palestine, and New Steps to Progress

This month, the global community marked World Population Day, where attention and resources are devoted to meeting the challenges of the world’s 7 billion people. In Palestine, attention was specifically directed to a new data set released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics- and these numbers not only inform TYO’s work, but also shed new light on the population we serve.

The statistical review highlights many important aspects of Palestinian society- like population, poverty rates, and educational opportunities. Below, we've pulled out a few of the highlights- and demonstrated how they relate to TYO's daily mission to empower strong, healthy community members.

  • Female Participate Rate in the Labor Force: At TYO, we know Palestine has long had a very low female participation rate in the workforce- and this survey reinforced that fact. Participation in the labor force is a key indicator of effectiveness in providing job opportunities- and statistics like these show us that our women’s economic empowerment programs, like FWEME, are vitally needed to help fill the gap between men and women’s workforce opportunities. In the first Quarter of 2013, female labor participation rates were at 17.1%- which is much lower than the 43.4% for males.
  • Computer/Internet Use: In today’s globalizing world, it’s more important than ever that kids be equipped with internet technology skills- both for future educational or job opportunities, but also to feel confident and skilled. Data from 2013 showed that 51.4% of Palestinians had a household computer- and 3 out of 10 families have internet access. At TYO, we teach IT in our Core Program and in The Women’s Group- giving families the tools to use technology for educational purposes, and teach other members at home the skills they learn in the classroom.
  •  Education Rates: 2012 data revealed that the percentage of individuals who completed university was 11.7%- while the percentage of individuals who did not complete any form of education was 10%. While we’re thrilled to see a growing number finish more levels of school, we know we must continue to work until that 10% number goes to zero. Here at TYO, we believe early childhood education is one of the main keys- it both sets the foundation for stronger minds as well as excites kids about school- which will ensure this number is lowered in the next generation.
  • Poverty Line: According to the data, the poverty rate among Palestinian individuals was 25.8%- and from consumption patterns, it was released that 12.9% of Palestinians were suffering from deep poverty.  While these rates are reduction from poverty levels in recent years, it still shows the instability that can impact families when they're not sure about their monetary situation, or what will happen next. Our target areas at TYO are very affected by this, as we work in four refugee camps, the Old City and Khallet Al-Amood neighborhood- whether it’s food insecurity or other financial worries, we continue to act as a point of light, and ensure a stable, safe space for kids who might not find that at home.
  •  Female Illiteracy: In Palestine, the illiteracy rate for women aged 15 and over was 6.4%- which is a sharp contrast to the 1.8% of males. As the Psychosocial Program Manager, I believe this rate could be even higher- given under-reporting and the lack of educational opportunities for girls in outlying areas of Nablus, I have witnessed the gap between female & male academic options. At TYO, all of our programs place a special emphasis on gender equity, and empowering girls in the classroom- as well as empowering moms through The Women’s Group to reduce this gap.

Some of these statistics are alarming, and show the road ahead to continue improvement of Palestine- but it also shows the value of TYO's investments in the youngest generation, and the bright future ahead through means like early childhood education, women's empowerment, and more.

Suhad Jabi Masri is TYO's Psychosocial Program Manager. Above, she shares new data from the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics, and how it impacts TYO's work.