Palestine: Youth Empowerment

Young people are committed to their rights.
A programme that teaches young people about their political, social and economic rights and promotes their active commitment to peace and security.

Background Palestine

The unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the major obstacles to peace and sustainable development in the entire Middle East region, but especially in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which comprise the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The territories in which, according to the peace initiatives of the 1990s, the future state of Palestine should have been created and in which the fifth generation under military occupation since 1967 is already growing up.
The Palestinian population is very young. 30% of the total population is between 15 and 29 years old, the proportion of children under 18 is even 45%. Life under occupation, very high unemployment and a conservative-patriarchal social structure deprive young people and especially women of their control and self-determination over everyday life and the future. There is a lack of trust in the government, in which a generation of male politicians over 60 dominates and largely excludes young people and women from decision-making processes.
Even three years after accession to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), national legislation in the occupied Palestinian Territories has not been adapted to the requirements of the Convention. Almost half of Palestinian society is made up of women, but patriarchal social structures and gender inequality deny them access to economic and political participation. Despite a high level of education, the proportion of women in the labour market is low and laws that discriminate against women over men continue to apply in the labour market.

Horyzon has been working with YWCA Palestine for more than 30 years and is committed to the promotion of women's rights and political education in Bethlehem, Jericho, Jerusalem and Ramallah as well as in two refugee camps in the West Bank.

Target groups

300 young people aged between 16 and 29 years (of whom at least 60% are young women) living in the refugee camps Aida, Tulkarem and Al-Jalazon in the West Bank regularly take part in various workshops on political participation, advocacy and lobbying during the year. Through the implementation of three initiatives, around 1000 young people as indirect beneficiaries gain knowledge about their political, economic and social rights.


The project promotes the participation and active involvement of young people, especially young women, in decision-making processes in Palestinian society and within the YWCA. The young people are strengthened in their awareness and empowered to actively demand their civil rights from decision-makers and take on a formative role in the promotion and maintenance of peace and security.

Activities and effect

Participation of young people in decision-making processes


• The provision of training on the protection and rights of women and the role and importance of young people in peace-building (UN Resolutions 1325, 2250)
• Conduct workshops on advocacy and lobbying
• Workshops to develop and document a YWCA strategy for empowering young people


The young people know and understand their social, economic and political rights and have the necessary knowledge and self-confidence to demand them for themselves. 

Active engagement of young people at local, national and international level Activities


• Development and implementation of three local initiatives on participation in decision-making processes
• Conducting talks with various government representatives on the importance of young people for security and peace and their participation in decision-making processes.
• Participation of one young woman each in the YWCA World Congress in Johannesburg and in the annual meeting of the UN Women's Rights Commission in New York, where they sensitize young people to the problems of Palestine.


The young people know their rights and possibilities of political participation. They are involved in local decision-making processes in Palestinian society and within the YWCA and play a shaping role in the future maintenance of security and peace.




Further information

Flag of Palestine
Facts about the program

Title: Right to co-determination - young people are committed to their rights
Partner Organization: East Jerusalem YMCA: Youth Empowerment
Locations: Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jericho
Objectives: Young people living in the refugee camps Aida, Tulkarem and Al-Jalazon in the West Bank get to know their political, social and economic rights and have the necessary knowledge and self-confidence to demand them.
Target group: Workshops and trainings for 300 young people living in the refugee camps Aida, Tulkarem and Al-Jalazon in the West Bank, further 1000 young people as indirect beneficiaries.
Required funds 2019-20: CHF 60'000
Duration: 2019-2020
Responsible: Isabelle Aebersold isabelle.aebersold at

Facts about Palestine

Captial: East Jerusalem
Population: 4.9 mill.
Human Development Index: 0,690 (Rang 119.)
Life expectancy: 73.9 years
Median age: 20.5 Jahre
Youth unemployment (15-24 years): 46.5%

Source: Human Development Report