Abeer Abu Ghaith, 29, third from left, the first female high-tech entrepreneur in the West Bank, talks to other Palestinian women in the village of Dura. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
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Growing up in a traditional society, Abeer Abu Ghaith was often told a woman's future was in her husband's kitchen.Abu Ghaith has become the first female high-tech entrepreneur in the Palestinian West Bank, setting up an Internet employment brokerage and software development firm. Abu Ghaith has put in 16-hour days, showing how the local IT and communications sector can transform the lives of other women by giving them access to jobs and financial independence.Only about 20 percent Palestinian women work outside the home, compared to nearly 70 percent of men, according to the International Labor Organization.StayLinked has generated several thousand dollars in business – Abu Ghaith won't say exactly how much – and has provided paid employment for about 40 freelancers, half of them women.Kassem's association represents about 150 medium and larger companies in IT and communications technology that employ about 8,000 people. He said the sector could double over the next five years and make up 20 percent of Palestinian economic activity.
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