Marah Ma’alla, is a small rural village located in Southern Bethlehem Governorate, it has a population of 1500 residents. It is characterized with simple facilities, low level of services provided, and limited to almost non-existing women participation in the community. This is caused by the absence of a women center to reinforce women role in various fields in the society. This is maybe due to the fact of its small population compared with other villages and cities in Bethlehem area.
All that changed, when Community development and Continuing Education Institute, in cooperation with youth groups from Palestine Ahlyia University, implemented “Grass Roots Civic Action” program between August 2013 and July 2014. This program worked in persuading decision makers in the village of the importance of establishing a women club center in the village council area. This, in turn, helped in raising the awareness of the local community, especially women, in Marah Ma’alla Village. This center started implementing training courses, which aim to empower the village women and encourage them to establish their own small business.
The village council supported this club, and donated furniture and main electronic devices, to facilitate the daily work of the women committee.
“The women club has established many partnerships with the local community institutes” as Ms. Khalil Abu Shakra, a member of the village council, mentioned, including Qader Institute and Family Protection Association, among others; this indicate, that the women club has become active and able to achieve its main objectives.