In early April, a large group of Palestinian women residents of East Jerusalem, have completed a Hebrew language course held in cooperation between WAC-MAAN and Lissan Association. Lack of knowledge of Hebrew is one of the highest barriers that Palestinian women in East Jerusalem face as they aspire to improve their socio-economic situation.
As of late, only 15 per cent of the East Jerusalem’s female population work outside their homes. This results in severe consequences in terms of both sky-rocketing poverty rates of 75%, in addition to the low social status and rights of the women.
Considering the barriers obstructing East Jerusalem women’s to gainful employment (for a deeper analysis , read WAC-MAAN’s report titled “Condemned to Unemployment“), these figures are not surprising. Yet despite this bleak picture, at WAC’s Jerusalem branch we often meet women who refuse to accept this reality and struggle to integrate themselves in the labor market, as part of their attempt to improve their social and economic situation. This stimulated the initiative of offering WAC’s “Rights Propagators” the opportunity of learning Hebrew, as part of their integration in the Israeli labor market. However the number of women who joined exceeded our plans. In collaboration with the Lissan Association, we launched a basic and advanced Hebrew-learning project, which will have particular emphasis on the world of work.
In early April the women celebrated their graduation from the course, attended this year by 60 women in two levels – beginners and advanced. This is the second year of this joint activity between Lissan and WAC-MAAN.
WAC-MAAN’s Yael Frenkel said: “We want to thank the team members, and Lissan’s amazing teachers, who have guided the groups with dedication, and of course the students, who persisted and exerted themselves along the year. We wish you the best of success, and hope that the skills you have acquired would serve you in the labor market. We would also like to remind you that the team at WAC-MAAN Jerusalem branch is here to facilitate your way to fair employment.”