The Association for the Improvement of the Status of Women was founded in 1996 as the first Bedouin women's organization in the Negev, one of the poorest regions in Israel. Better known as Desert Embroidery, the Association is committed to advancing the status of women through the education and empowerment of Bedouin women.
Founded and run by Bedouin women. The organization works to improve the economic and social status of Bedouin women and advance the educational achievements of Bedouin children and youth while combating the patriarchal attitudes of Bedouin society.
Major goals include the empowerment of Bedouin women through the improvement of their economic and social status; the advancement of education in the Bedouin community; and the empowerment of the next generation of Bedouin youth through leadership training for community commitment and development.
The Association works in partnership with other organizations in the Arab Israeli community as well as with mainstream Israeli organizations for dialogue, cooperation and coexistence.
Among the Association’s major accomplishments are the development of a thriving home-centered embroidery industry, the establishment of a Bedouin cultural and tourist center, the operation of a Mobile Library for over 1,000 children in Lakia and the surrounding unrecognized villages, as well as youth leadership and educational projects which have raised the awareness of the community to genetic diseases caused by kinship marriage, the importance of education for women and female children, pre-natal care, home economics, and more.