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In Arab society, many teenage girls and young women feel conflicted about their identity as women and as part of a minority group wavering between conservative, traditional values and the modern world. The unique difficulties they face are indicated, for example, by a lack of basic skills such as a driver's license and Hebrew\English literacy; limited access to higher education and to quality employment; and a high rate of premature marriage.

The Nur ('light' in Arabic) initiative was launched is response to the large gap between the needs of this population and the available solutions. It is intended to develop a model of intervention to advance young Arab women (16-25) who experience social, economic or personal distress and have too little opportunities, but are also strongly motivated to change their lives and fulfill their aspirations. The initiative aims to reduce their exposure to risk factors, while helping to empower them in all dimensions: personal and emotional situation, education, financial independence, leadership and social involvement.

The pilot program will operate in a community-based model, where a holistic center is set up in each locality to provide a range of services addressing the most acute needs and obstacles – social status, education and employment. The center's activity will combine individual and group work and will include life skills workshops, matriculation and psychometric exam studies, vocational guidance and training, and more. The pilot will reach 8 communities over four years – starting with 4 in the first year and expanding in the second; the Ministry of Welfare will then take full responsibility for its nationwide implementation.



Ministry of Welfare

National Insurance Institute

Isabel and Alfred Bader Foundation

  • 44% of Arab women aged 18-24 are not studying or working, compared to 14% in Jewish society (2015)

  • 84% of the girls who married at age 17 or earlier were Muslim (2013)

  • The monthly salary of Arab women is 57% lower than Jewish women (2015)