Young women campaigning for equal jobs in Palestine
Describe the problem that you want to address. How does this problem effect people in their daily lives?
Palestinian males are four times more likely than females to find work. Young women face particularly high unemployment and this situation is exacerbated for women living in the “Seam Zones” - areas that are cut off from the rest of Palestine by the Israeli separation barrier. They face a multitude of movement restrictions which leave them isolated and feeling excluded from participation in their societies; they are often left feeling that their opinions are not listened to or sought by decision makers. YCare International and the East Jerusalem YMCA has been supporting a group of youth advocates to target the Ministry of Education and Cabinet in the Palestinian Authority to push for the right to employment for young women. In particular, they are advocating for a percentage quota for young women employed by the government to address the gender imbalance and reduce unemployment. After going down the traditional route of costly meetings and sporadic radio broadcasts, there is a need to improve the method of documenting and sharing challenges, and bring the process into the digital age. For this fragmented, poorly-resourced network, mobile offers an ideal channel for sustaining the pressure but requires a central system to ensure it remains a collective effort.
Describe your proposed solution – How does your approach build on or add to more traditional ways of dealing with problem?
Describe your proposed solution – How does your approach build on or add to more traditional ways of dealing with problem? A mobile reporting hub will connect young women in the Seam Zone to the Cabinet, enabling them to submit mobile reports (via SMS or audio-visual) which evidence the need for and benefits of female employment. All content will be channelled to a online hub, which will automatically push messages to the Minister for Education via email, and record them on a public website. Guided by an automated system, they will be able to submit information via four categories: Report (issues); Rate (efforts); Record (ideas); Request (answers). Responses from the Cabinet will be tracked and published; and inactivity noted. This will offer a cost-effective route to sustaining the pressure on the Cabinet, without the cost and inconvenience of face-to-face advocacy in a physically and politically fragmented region.
Which technologies are you planning to use and why? Please make reference to other similar uses of your proposed technology.
The reporting hub uses mobile gateways to connect citizens in low connectivity regions to decision-makers. It combines a message handler, a communication dashboard and plug-ins to share content. The message handler accepts SMS, voicemail, Chat Apps or email whilst anonymising personal data. It's written with a ‘store and forward’ architecture, which is ideal for low connectivity, with an emphasis on data integrity, guaranteed message delivery and error recovery. The dashboard stores copies of all messages, filtering them by key words before sharing and capturing response or logging inactivity. A secure log-in enables a monitoring team to view the info and intervene where appropriate to clarify or develop content with the reporters. No information is lost which allows for a unique level of evidence-based accountability. The hub is written to scale and has been trialled in Kenya and Sierra Leone where it helped to keep councils active during the the Ebola outbreak.