Gaza women in the digital marketplace
Young professionals benefit from ITC training programme.
Bushra Abu Maileq, a young engineer from Gaza, is proud of her recent achievements. Despite continuous closures and hardships around the economic crisis of COVID-19 in her home region, she remained resilient by shifting her career track: to comply with new labour market requirements, she moved into the digital work sphere.
After studying civil engineering at the Islamic University of Gaza, Bushra was under fixed-term contracts with several construction companies where she worked as a site engineer, an office engineer, and an engineering supervisor as well. However, restrictions imposed on Gaza and the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in further suspensions and delays on projects she worked on since construction projects in Palestine are mainly dependent on construction materials donated from Qatar and other foreign countries.
“It was time to take a decision. I decided to learn digital marketing, in the field of search engine optimization (SEO). It suited my academic background,” says Bushra. Digital places are immune to physical restrictions, she added.
Through LinkedIn, Bushra came across an advertisement for a newly launched training programme “Go Digital”, implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with The Business and Technology Incubator (BTI) in Gaza.
After being trained through the Go Digital project as an SEO specialist, Bushra is working for two companies in Gaza and Saudi Arabia under long-term contracts. She supported SEO website development projects and e-commerce strategies, earning more than $3,500 for one of her projects. She helped drive organic traffic, creating the best possible results for her companies.
The Go Digital freelancing training helps unlock opportunities for refugees and internally displaced people, youth, local communities, and small businesses in the Gaza Strip by improving their technical capability and employability in the digital sector.
It offers technical and vocational training by using digital channels as an innovative way to connect with clients, find jobs, and access markets. Selected participants, like Bushra, build successful and compelling profiles on freelancing platforms and bid for jobs posted by clients.
“I can’t describe how great this opportunity was for me. It was not easy, but I am glad I pushed through,” says Bushra. ‘I improved my skills and capacities to take full advantage of new job opportunities. Besides the two long-term contracts, I constantly get short-term jobs.’
After more than 60 hours of intensive training and well-organized sessions, Bushra has received enough technical expertise on SEO. As an SEO specialist, she finds job satisfaction that she always sought.
Go Digital is an International Trade Centre initiative in partnership with the Business and Technology Incubator, funded by the Government of Japan.