In first, Gaza woman runs in Chamber of Commerce election

In the past, Awwad held a number of senior jobs in the Gaza Strip.

THE PALESTINIAN flag flies at a Palestinian Authority diplomatic post. (photo credit: REUTERS)
THE PALESTINIAN flag flies at a Palestinian Authority diplomatic post.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Eman Awwad has become the first woman to run in the election for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The successful businesswoman, who has worked in the insurance and tourism sectors over the past two decades, announced her candidacy for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry last month.

Eman Awwad has become the first woman to run in the election for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The successful businesswoman, who has worked in the insurance and tourism sectors over the past two decades, announced her candidacy for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry last month.

A member of security forces lower a Palestinian flag to fly at half-mast on November 10, 2020 (credit: REUTERS/RANEEN SAWAFTA)A member of security forces lower a Palestinian flag to fly at half-mast on November 10, 2020 (credit: REUTERS/RANEEN SAWAFTA)

In 2020, she was elected as deputy president of the Board of Directors of the Palestinian Council for Restaurants, Hotels and Touristic Services in the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, the council announced its full support for Awwad.

The council expressed “pride and appreciation for her successful achievements,” especially in the tourism sector in the Gaza Strip. The council called on the various economic sectors to vote for Awwad as a way of supporting and empowering Palestinian women.

How is Awwad running her campaign?

Awwad is running under the banner “Together Towards a Strong Chamber of Commerce and Industry.” Her election program says she will work to achieve “clear economic legislation and regulations” and find solutions to the high fees collected from merchants at the border crossings and the price manipulation of several goods.

Awwad also promised to work towards facilitating trade exchange and movement through the border crossings establishing a fund for merchants who face financial hardship.

In 2021, Hamas announced the appointment of Jamileh al-Shanti as a member of the Islamist group’s political bureau for the first time since its founding 35 years ago.

Shanti is a former minister of women’s affairs from Jabalya Refugee Camp and worked as a lecturer at the Faculty of Education at the Islamic University. She was elected as a Hamas representative in the 2006 election for the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council.