Journal Article

Navigating Gaza’s conflict through women’s entrepreneurship


Purpose. This paper explores the extent to which women’s entrepreneurship in conflict zones is an influential catalyst for liberalizing traditionally conservative gender norms.  This purpose is achieved by focusing on women entrepreneurs in Gaza and how they actively renegotiate their multiple gender roles and navigate the social order through entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach. This paper adopts the interpretivist approach where individual in-depth interviews were conducted with sixteen Palestinian women entrepreneurs operating in Gaza. Findings. The findings demonstrate that the context of conflict itself and its impact on gender norms is a prime motivator for women to engage in entrepreneurial ventures. Some gender roles were constraining and other enabling for women to initiate and sustain their ventures in order to contribute to their families’ well-being. Despite the fact that the conflict context and entrepreneurship have contributed to enhancing the agency of women and their ability to navigate the conflict and its consequences, the gendered practices and assumptions are still used as guidance for women to grant legitimacy. Originality/value. This paper contributes to the gender and entrepreneurship literature by giving a greater visibility to necessity-driven women entrepreneurs in an under researched conflict context, and demonstrates how prolonged conflict instigates social and economic changes that can empower women whilst also reinforcing certain gendered norms.

Attached files


Althalathini, Doaa
Al-Dajani, Haya
Apostolopoulos, Nikolaos

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School


Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-07-03

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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