Five years ago, Soha Masri lost her husband because of an Israeli air strike on Gaza.
Becoming a widow placed her in financial peril. She had three daughters, all of whom had plans to study at university. How could she support them?
Masri, now aged 45, took the initiative of setting up a small poultry farm in Nuseirat refugee camp. She began selling the food produced on it to relatives and neighbors.
“It is not an easy job to take care of the chickens,” she said. “But I try my best so that I can make enough to pay part of my children’s expenses.”
Many other women in Gaza are in a similar situation. Although men are usually the main breadwinners for their families here, their death or injury leaves their wives having to perform that role.
Manal Azizi set up an embroidery business for traditional Palestinian dresses after her husband was left paralyzed when Israel bombed Gaza for eight consecutive days in November 2012.
She lacked much of the equipment required at the beginning. “Yet I did not give up,” she said. “The work goes on.”
The 34-year-old has to take care of four children, as well as her husband. more