Employment for Arab Women in Israel

Employment for Arab Women in Israel

There is no community in Israel more under-served than Arab women. Only 30% of them are employed – a source of chronic personal, familial, and communal poverty. This is largely due to inadequate job opportunities in peripheral areas, lack of labor skills, lack of day-care for small children, lack of public transportation in Arab villages, and a preference by Israeli employers for cheaper workers from abroad. In addition, Arab society has traditionally maintained strong taboos against married women working outside the village. WAC focuses on women who have elementary or high school education, who constitute 76% of the Arab women, but of whom only 28% are in the workforce. In holding a job, they experience a rise in self esteem and in their standard of living.  An additional outcome of their successful employment is their ability to provide for a better education for their children. 

WAC-MAAN helps Arab women by:

  • Locating jobs for them in agriculture and cleaning
  • Ensuring them the legal salary with full benefits
  • Organizing car pools to ensure transportation to their jobs
  • Mediating problems that arise with employers
  • Addressing culturally-based objections to married women working outside their villages
  • Building leadership and awareness 

WAC-MAAN has partnered with:

  • Hashomer Hazair in their program, Nahshonim, to establish an Arab women's clenaing cooperative.  The cooperative will provide services to institutional clients.
  • Sindyanna of Galilee on issues of employment and in the art-sale venture, Bread and Roses.


Workers Advice Center - WAC-MAAN
Since its registration as a nonprofit in the year 2000, the Workers Advice Center (WAC-MAAN) has defended and organized Arabs and Jews on the periphery of Israel’s job market. It started as a labor-rights center defending mainly Arabs. A decade before the social protest of 2011, WAC identified the inequalities that had increased levels of poverty in both the Arab and Jewish sectors. These inequalities led WAC to develop a trade union section, which in 2010 was legally recognized as such. W ...