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Report

Aspirations on Hold : Young Lives in the West Bank and Gaza

ABILITY OF YOUNG ADOLESCENT ADOLESCENT BOYS ADOLESCENT GIRL ADOLESCENT GIRLS ADOLESCENTS ADULT WOMEN ADULTHOOD AGE OF MARRIAGE ALCOHOL ARMED FORCES BABIES BABY BASIC EDUCATION BIRTHS BOTH SEXES BREADWINNER BREADWINNERS CENTER FOR DEVELOPMENT CHILD LABOR CHILDBEARING CRIME DEPRESSION DIGNITY DISCRIMINATION DISCRIMINATORY TREATMENT DROPOUTS DRUGS EARLY CHILDHOOD ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES ECONOMIC SITUATION EDUCATED WOMEN EDUCATIONAL CHOICES EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FAMILIES FAMILY FORMATION FAMILY LAWS FAMILY MEMBERS FAMILY PLANNING FAMILY RESOURCES FAMILY SIZE FAMILY VALUES FEMALE FEMALE LABOR FEMALE LABOR FORCE FEMALE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION FEMALE POPULATION FEMALE STUDENTS FEMALES FERTILITY FERTILITY RATE FERTILITY RATES FEWER CHILDREN FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS FIRST CHILD GENDER GENDER DIFFERENCES GENDER DIMENSIONS GENDER DISPARITIES GENDER EQUALITY GENDER INEQUALITIES GENDER NORMS GENDER SEGREGATION GENDERS GIRLS GLOBAL EFFORT GOVERNMENT OFFICES HEAD SCARF HOME HOMES HOUSES HUMAN DEVELOPMENT HUSBAND HUSBANDS IMMUNIZATION JOB CREATION JOB OPPORTUNITIES JUDGES LABOR FORCE LABOR MARKET LARGE FAMILIES LEVEL OF EDUCATION LEVELS OF EDUCATION LIFE EXPECTANCY LITERACY LITERACY RATES LIVING CONDITIONS LOCAL ECONOMY LOCAL WOMEN MARRIAGES MARRIED WOMEN MATERNAL HEALTH MEASLES MINIMUM AGE OF MARRIAGE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION MOTHER MOVEMENTS OF PEOPLE NUMBER OF CHILDREN NURSE NUTRITION OLD MAN OLDER ADULTS OLDER MEN OLDER WOMEN OPPOSITE SEX PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT POOR FAMILIES POOR GIRLS POPULATION DIVISION PREGNANCIES PREGNANT WOMAN PRENATAL CARE PRODUCTIVITY PROFESSIONAL WOMEN REFUGEE REFUGEES RESPECT SAFETY NET SANCTIONS SCHOOL YEARS SCHOOLS SECONDARY SCHOOL SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION SELF-CONFIDENCE SEX SEXUAL HARASSMENT SINGLE WOMAN SINGLE WOMEN SKILLED HEALTH PERSONNEL SMALLER FAMILIES SMOKING SOCIAL AFFAIRS SOCIAL ASSISTANCE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT SOCIAL NORMS TEEN TEEN YEARS TETANUS TOBACCO TRADITIONAL NORMS TRANSPORTATION TUBERCULOSIS UNEMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATES UNITED NATIONS UNMARRIED WOMAN URBAN AREAS URBAN YOUTH USE OF FAMILY PLANNING VOCATIONAL TRAINING VULNERABILITY WAGE GAP WAGES WAR WDR WEDDING WIDOWS WIFE WILL WOMEN HEADS OF HOUSEHOLDS WORKFORCE WORKING MOTHERS WORKING WOMEN WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION WORLD POPULATION YOUNG ADULTS YOUNG AGES YOUNG CHILDREN YOUNG MEN YOUNG PEOPLE YOUNG WOMAN YOUNG WOMEN YOUTH YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
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Washington, DC
Middle East and North Africa | West Bank and Gaza
2017-06-05T15:15:28Z | 2017-06-05T15:15:28Z | 2012-01-02

Seventy percent of West Bank and Gaza's population is under the age of 30, and their share will continue to grow in the years ahead. The aspirations and ambitions of this large and growing population of children and youth have the potential to define the future of the West Bank and Gaza. This assessment seeks to contribute to the understanding of factors driving the choices of young men and women at this critical juncture of their lives, with a particular emphasis on the roles that changing gender norms and the conflict environment are having on their aspirations for education, jobs, and forming families. Young Palestinians are moving into adulthood in a world surrounded by roadblocks and barriers, and gripped by soaring unemployment and uncertainty about what their futures may hold. Still, this generation remains optimistic and ambitious. They are pursuing high school and college degrees, and hanging on to expectations for better jobs and better lives than was possible for their parent's generation. In the face of such bleak prospects, why? What is driving these youth's aspirations for high levels of education and good jobs? To provide a broad context for the youth's testimonies, this report first takes stock of developments affecting the West Bank and Gaza over the past decade. In this period, the Palestinian territories witnessed two major episodes of conflict: the second intifada beginning in 2000 and the crisis in Gaza in 2007. Both episodes had severe and wide-ranging economic repercussions, and were accompanied by restrictions on internal and external mobility of people and goods. As a result, in the last decade, the West Bank and Gaza has witnessed economic volatility without parallel (even in comparison to countries affected by large financial crises), massive spikes in poverty, and some of the highest rates of unemployment in the world. Young people's unemployment rates are even higher, and much more so for young women. The youth's focus groups indicate that traditional gender norms remain very strong in their society, and mainly seem to be reinforced by the difficult conflict environment. Men's status as the breadwinners means that boys, especially from poor families, are likely to withdraw from school sooner than girls in order to take up income earning roles; and the weak economy intensifies these pressures.

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