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7 March 2017

Skills For All: Graphic Designer Sobheya Musallam, Palestine

Listening to Sobheya Musallam’s views on women in the workplace in her home country of Palestine you hear an uplifting story of equality being embraced and advanced.

The 22-year-old graphic designer, who competed in the first-ever national skills competition to be held in Palestine, last October, says that while working women across the nation once faced major obstacles to employment, it is an issue that is now being consigned to history.

“Women were neglected to a tremendous degree in the past,” explained Sobheya, who competed in Graphic Design Technology. “They were not encouraged within the workforce and did not hold major positions – they were limited to being teachers, or having very simple careers. However, now Palestinian women are more like women from all over the world in terms of having diverse, and gainful employment.”

Sobheya is certainly among them. Having started to develop her design interest as a teenager at university and technical college, she won a silver medal in Graphic Design Technology at the WorldSkills Palestine National Competition, which she considers “the real beginning” of putting her skill into practice.

“It had a positive impact on me, as I become more interested, and involved in graphic design, and now I expect my skill to keep evolving,” she said. “I believe I can excel in it.”

“Graphic design was once more directed towards men, as a technical profession, but now it’s common to both genders. On a personal level, it gives me the feeling of a colourful life, as I believe graphic design makes advertising, and products come alive. Essentially, I feel life without graphic design is like a blank, white sheet of paper.” 

WorldSkills is recognizing skilled women around the globe in celebration of International Women’s Day, 8 March. Join us in supporting HeForShe – a solidarity movement for gender equality, led by the United Nations.

Take the HeForShe pledge, by signing at, and acknowledge that you are “one of billions… who believe that everyone is born free and equal”, and that you “will take action against gender bias, discrimination and violence to bring the benefits of equality to us all.”