With a special focus on the needs of the city’s most vulnerable, the Jerusalem Foundation seeks to improve communal strengthen for an open and vibrant Jerusalem in the decade ahead and beyond. Focusing on the needs of Arab Women, Workforce Development for Palestinian Women increases employment and income opportunities for women in East Jerusalem, where only 21% of women are employed and 43% complete high school. The empowerment program provides language skills, business development, practical internships and seed funding.
A pilot is currently being implemented in the Sur Baher neighborhood in southern Jerusalem, where a one-day local job fair for women and girls only is organized. The services include East Jerusalem employment agencies explaining the market demand for various jobs, academic orientation for high school girls and a variety of cultural events for children to ensure all women can participate. The fair does not only offer employment prospects to women, but it is also a way to collect information to develop relevant training programs leveraging existing resources. In Sur Baher, a community center and five schools can be used in off-school hours for vocational training purposes to the benefit of the 8,470 women living in the neighborhood.
Impact: The program has the potential to significantly improve the lives of many Arab women, their families and the community at large. In Sur Baher, 200 women expressed interest in vocational training, while 10% of the target audience already completed a training program, with 60% of them now being employed part-time.