"The electricity crisis affects women more than men"

34 year old Mokaram lives in West Nuseirat, Gaza, with her husband and four children.  Since mid-April 2017, the family - along with hundreds of thousands of others in Gaza - have been suffering the impacts of an electricity crisis that has seen the mains electricity supply fall to between 4-6 hours per day. 

Here Mokaram shares how the crisis affects her daily life, and that of her family.

Before the electricity crisis, life was better than now.  We only have electricity [from the mains supply] for around 4-5 hours a day, and we never know when it will come.  It means I cannot use the washing machine as much as I need to, or make bread in the bread oven.  Last week I had to put the washing machine on at 10pm at night because the electricity came then.  It was very noisy, which caused an argument with my neighbour.    

“The lack of electricity also means we are not able to cool the house with fans as normal.  One day recently the whole family slept outside [in the entranceway to the house] because it was cooler than inside.  Sometimes my children sleep directly on the floor of the house because it is cooler than sleeping in their beds. 

We are all very stressed by the situation.  The children have more arguments because they are hot and my husband and I are arguing more because we are frustrated.  People in the community are having arguments over the noise from generators too, although we don’t have one in our household because it is too expensive. 

File 38006Mokaram

I think the crisis affects women more than men. Women have to do the housework.  Before the crisis I used to spend about 2-3 hours a day on chores, now because of the lack of electricity it is around 6-7 hours.  I have to go every day to buy essential food items now because I cannot keep them cool in the fridge; usually I would only go once a week.  The children also ask for more money for cool drinks, which is expensive.  Personal hygiene is also more difficult for women.  We need showers more often, especially in the summertime when it is very hot, but there is less water now because there is not enough electricity to pump it to the house.

Life would be better if we had solar panels to supply electricity.  I would spend less time every day on housework and the children would enjoy their lives more; they would not have to use the LED light to study at night.  It would also help ease the stress with my husband.”