Background Information

Since 1983, the moment of establishment of PARC, believes in women crucial role in achieving of integrated rural development was one of the most important direction.  For all, PARC struggle to empower women socially, economically and politically. Women as individual were given the priority (positive discrimination) at different interventions and later on they have been tackled in equal bases and free competition with male. Collectively, women groups have been established and formed the nuclei for women clubs that are taking care of women different issues, which include informal education, awareness raising and starting of small income generating projects. These groups are the backbones of the Saving and Credit Groups (SCG) at village level and later on with the Saving and credit Associations (SCA) at district level, and finally on the Union of Cooperative Association for Saving and Credit (UCASC) at national level.

The union built on the accumulated experiences by PARC on ground and went through three major stages, these stages are:

 

Stage # 1:1999-2000 Initiation, Saving and Credit initiative was first introduced in 1999 by one of the rural women’s groups working with PARC for more than 10 years as a unique mechanism to support and empower rural women financially and socially, at the same time, addressing the fact that these women are unable to access the financial resources. The establishment of the S&C Program was supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which assisted PARC about other experiences throughout the world, in particular, similar programs in Eastern Europe and Asia. Through the support of IFAD, PARC was able to assess and localized other’s experiences to the Palestinian social, political and economic contexts

 

Stage # 2: 2001-2003 the growth and coverage of Saving and Credit concept. During this period, S&C cooperative associations (village banks) have been established and founded in most rural areas in Palestine and their role became well known for the public. They were established in: Jenin, Tubas, Tulkarem, Qalqiliya, Nablus, Salfeet, Ramallah, Jericho, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron, and Gaza Strip.

 

Stage # 3: 2003-2008 Institutionalizations. In 2003, 12 Saving & Credit Associations (SCA) have been registered as cooperative at the Palestinian Ministry of Labour, with each cooperative including an elected Administrative Committee that manages the cooperatives. In 2005, the union of these cooperative registered and licensed as legal umbrella for 12 cooperatives consisting from 176 SCGs.

 

Stage # 4: from 2009 Independency, the union was putting more efforts