Women Day

Breaking boundaries: meet Gaza's first female solar technician and Green Skills Award Winner

On International Women's Day, we recognise the crucial role of gender equality in global education and training. When opportunities and resources are distributed equally, both men and women can reach their full potential and contribute to society and the economy.

Educating girls, for example, not only benefits them as individuals, but also supports their families and communities. It leads to increased economic opportunities and improved social cohesion. Gender equality in education and training also helps to break down stereotypes and traditional gender roles, promoting diversity and tolerance.

In 2021, Ghada Krayem, a young girl from Palestine, participated in the ETF's Green Skills Awards which recognise the most innovative environmental and sustainable teaching and training initiatives.  Her pioneering work exploring green solutions to combat climate change in the Gaza Strip captured the imagination of thousands of people worldwide who voted her inspiring story to be the winner.

Krayem became the first women solar photovoltaic systems technicians in Gaza, and her story highlighted the need for greater female participation in technical fields. Despite initial doubts from her male colleagues about her abilities, she persevered, and her success has inspired other girls. Her work demonstrates the potential of renewable energy to create new occupations and economic opportunities, particularly in areas affected by poverty and climate change.

Krayem's work is part of a larger project run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) and Germany's overseas aid organization, GIZ, to train young people in Gaza as solar power installation technicians. The project aims to reduce reliance on external sources of energy and address the regular power cuts in the area by using renewable energy from the sun. The project has trained 98 vulnerable Palestinian refugees, including 27 women, with elements of training in the field for a further 120 students on various technical courses.

Background information

To know more about Ghada Krayem: https://www.etf.europa.eu/en/news-and-events/news/press-release-palestine-solar-energy-course-refugees-wins-best-project-green 

To know more about skills for green transition: https://www.etf.europa.eu/en/what-we-do/skills-green-transition 

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