APHEDA People: Meet Hiba Yasin (Social Inclusion Officer, APHEDA Palestine)
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is about people – people working together to make things better for all. As the global justice organisation of the Australian union movement, each and every APHEDA supporter, member, partner, activist and participant here in Australia and all around the world contributes to the work it takes to tackle inequality and injustice.
This month we speak to APHEDA’s Social Inclusion Officer for our Palestine projects, Hiba Yasin. Hiba works to develop women’s capacities so they can better assert their rights and improve their roles within their communities. Hiba’s passion for her work is driven by her belief that gender equality is the foundation of long-term growth. Meet Hiba!
My name is Hiba Yasin, and I was born and raised in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestine. My family are originally from the city of Lod, but they were displaced in the 1948 Nakba. I have an advanced degree in International Studies from Birzeit University, as well as 16 years of work experience in development projects and gender responsive programs. I have managed education campaigns in West Bank and Gaza aimed at empowering women, and young women on economic, personal, and social levels.
How long have you been working at APHEDA and what is your role?
I’ve been with APHEDA for a year and nine months, and I’m the Social Inclusion Officer for our Palestine program. My job is to incorporate gender-based analyses and practices across all interventions, and I also work with the project team to develop women’s capacities so they can assert their rights and improve their roles in their communities.
I conduct poverty and social exclusion analysis of our interventions in Palestine to better understand which groups are not benefiting to the same extent as others and make recommendations to improve inclusion. This has led to better inclusion of women with disabilities in our project. I have also worked on a number of campaigns promoting women’s rights to inheritance and recognising the valuable contribution women make to the agricultural sector.
All my efforts are driven by the belief that gender equity is the foundation of long-term growth.
What part of APHEDA’s work (your work) are you most proud of? Why?
I am proud of the work we have done to integrate into our interventions marginalised groups who are often excluded. APHEDA’s approach is to keep working on making a real improvement in the lives of women and youth, as well as women with disabilities. We have helped to increase the incomes of 2,559 women and 1,491 youth.
APHEDA has been working with farming communities and the private sector to create diverse employment opportunities for women and youth that meet their needs. I have worked with companies to improve gender equality in their businesses, piloting tools to improve the working conditions of women, and assisting with new facilities and labour saving equipment.
We have been working with, Stars of Hope, an organisation run by and for Palestinian women with disabilities to support the economic empowerment of women with disabilities in the West Bank through training and capacity building for women in running small-scale businesses, one of the few ways they can earn incomes.
What do you see as the work (areas, issues, etc.) that is most important for Union Aid Abroad to focus on in Palestine into the future?
Unemployment is a huge problem in Palestine, particularly among women, young women graduates (who have some of the lowest participation rates in the labour force) and women with disabilities. Social obstacles experienced by people with disabilities are also a substantial contributor to poverty and marginalisation, particularly among rural communities in Palestine.
APHEDA should continue helping all disadvantaged groups to gain access to employment opportunities and support small-scale farmers to better access the domestic and export markets for agricultural produce. Social inclusion and intersectionality should be taken into consideration at the design phase of projects.
What does it mean to be union to you?
Being part of an international union movement through APHEDA offered me the meaning of collective work to achieve a fair life for all. Being sisters and brothers means we fight together, for each other to have better access and chances.
What does it mean to be APHEDA to you?
Since its establishment, APHEDA has supported and been committed to Palestinian people, whether in Palestine or as refugees, with the aim of bringing about real change in people’s lives and striving for equal opportunities for all. Working for APHEDA is more than just a job in an organisation. As a Palestinian, I feel that APHEDA stands in solidarity with all of us.
Stand with Palestine
By becoming a member of Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, you will be supporting the resilience of farming communities in Palestine. Your contributions will also go toward strengthening the resilience of other vulnerable communities around the globe, including migrant workers, refugees, and informal workers.