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On International Youth Day, Palestinian youth between hammer of occupation and anvil of economic conditions

On International Youth Day, Palestinian youth between hammer of occupation and anvil of economic conditions
Palestinian youths confronting the Israeli occupation. (WAFA Images)

RAMALLAH, Thursday, August 11, 2022 (WAFA) – Marking International Youth Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a press release on the situation of the youth in the Palestinian society that they are caught between the hammer of the Israeli occupation and anvil of difficult economic conditions.

The continuous violations practiced by the Israeli occupation and Israeli settlers against the Palestinian people in all Palestinian Governorates, in addition to the fact that Al-Aqsa Mosque is violated by Israeli settlers under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces on a daily basis have left their toll on the Palestinian youths, said the PCBS.

Also, the Israeli occupation forces regularly attack, harass and arrest Palestinian citizens as well as confiscate their lands. Most recently, the Israeli attack on Gaza Strip, where the Israeli occupation committed an unmerciful aggression against Gaza Strip on August 5 left 48 dead, 34% of them aged 18-29 years.

It's worth mentioning that the number of youth killed by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip in the year 2021 reached 82, representing 32% of the total number of those killed by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli aggression in that year.

In the West Bank, 43 youths aged 18-29 years were killed by Israeli army gunfire since the beginning of 2022, constituting 56% of the total number of Palestinians killed by the army in the West Bank. It is also noteworthy that the number of youth killed by the army in the West Bank in 2021 amounted to 41, constituting 43% of the total number in the West Bank.

Data for 2021 indicate that out of every 100 youth males and females aged 18-29 years, there are 18 youths who obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher. Perhaps youth females are the most fortunate, as 23 out of every 100 youth females obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 13 youth males.

On the other hand, unemployment rates constitute the biggest challenge for the youth, as these rates reached 62% among females and 33% among males, and were the highest in Gaza Strip compared to the West Bank (65% and 24%, respectively). Also, the highest rates of unemployment among the youth aged 18-29 years were recorded among graduates, including those holding an intermediate diploma or higher (53%) with a clear difference between youth males and females, 39% for males and 66% for females.

The number of employed youth in the informal sector in 2021 reached 155,000 employed persons, of whom 145,200 were males compared to 9,800 females. The percentage of the employed youth in this sector represents 29% of the total employed youth in Palestine. Knowingly, the percentage of the employed youth in the informal employment in Palestine (meaning the employed youth in the informal sector in addition to wage employees who do not obtain any labor rights including end-of-service/retirement or annual paid leave or paid sick leave) has reached 46% of the total employed youth; of whom 53% are males and 17% are females (56% in the West Bank and 29% in Gaza Strip).

The percentage of the youth (18-29 years) who are not engaged in employment or education/training in 2021 was 50% (41% in the West Bank compared with 64% in the Gaza strip); 66% for males and 34% for females.

The percentage of the youth (18-29 years) in Palestine was about 22% (1.17 million) of the total population in mid-2022 (22.2% in the West Bank and 21.5% in Gaza Strip). Whilst the sex ratio was 105 males per 100 females.

Data for 2022 indicates that 7% of households are headed by a youth in Palestine, 13% for males and 0.2% for females. This percentage was equal at the region level at 7% for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The illiteracy rate among the youth (18-29 years) in Palestine for 2021 decreased to about 0.7% (0.8% in the West Bank and 0.6% in Gaza Strip), while it was 1.1% in 2007 (1.1% in the West Bank and 1.2% in Gaza Strip).

The percentage of youth females (20-24 years) who got married before reaching the age of 18 decreased to about 13 youth females per 100 females in 2020 (12% in the West Bank and about 17% in Gaza Strip), compared to 37 females per 100 females in 2010.

The percentage of the youth (18-29 years old) who smoke in 2021 reached about 31% (43% in the West Bank and 13% in Gaza Strip), while the percentage of youth males who smoke was about 54% compared to 7% among females.

During the first quarter of 2022, around 95% of the youth (18-29 years) use the internet from anywhere (97% in the West Bank and 91% in Gaza Strip), with no significant differences between males and females. In addition, 89% of the youth, own a smartphone (96% in the West Bank and 78% in Gaza Strip); 88% for males and 90% for females.

Data in 2021 indicated that the level of life satisfaction among the youth aged (18-29 years) reached about 63%, with clear differences at the level of the region, as it reached 72% in the West Bank compared to only 46% in Gaza Strip. Regarding the youth satisfaction with their health, results indicated that the level of satisfaction reached about 77%, where this percentage was equal at the level of the region (77% for each of the West Bank and Gaza Strip).

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly announced August 12th of each year to be the International Youth Day, as the youth are key partners in making change, and in order to raise awareness on the challenges and problems facing the youth around the world.

The United Nations defines the youth as the individuals in the age group (15-24 years) with the possibility of adjusting this category according to the specificity and needs of each country. In this press release, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) considered the youth in Palestine as individuals in the age group (18-29 years).

M.K.

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