KIDMA: The Project for the Advancement of Women in Israel


KIDMA: The Project for the Advancement of Women in Israel was established by Arlette Adler in 1984, and since then has found a supportive base at the University of Haifa. It was on this most pluralistic of Israeli campuses that in 1970 the New Feminist Movement was founded. Initiated and led by women academics (including KIDMA’s Director, Professor Marilyn Safir), these feminist pioneers challenged the myth of gender equality that was built into the State’s foundations and consequently revealed the deep disparities that exist between men and women in Israeli society. KIDMA is an organization that aims to advance the status of women in Israel through creating programs to help women increase their positive involvement in Israeli society. While the University of Haifa provides a space to facilitate KIDMA, it does not provide any financial support. Thus, as an independent organization within the University, KIDMA relies heavily on the support of foundations and donors who are committed to strengthening civil society, women’s rights in Israel, the advancement of women in general, and multiculturalism.

Goals and Objectives

* To increase awareness of and interest in women’s issues through women’s studies programs.

* To encourage women who lack confidence or skills to personally develop in a supportive framework and to find out about the opportunities available to them.

* To open the academic world to women who might not have had an opportunity to study in such a framework.

* To bring marginalized women together (Druze women from towns outside of Haifa, Arab women from villages in the Galilee, or new immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia), in order to seize the opportunity for future growth.

* To enter the underprivileged neighborhoods of Haifa, Nazareth and Acco, where poverty has become a second-generation trap, and explore possibilities for ending this cycle.

* To provide specialized courses for female and male professionals serving women-at-risk about their specific needs and circumstances, and the prevention of violence.

* To conduct courses and seminars for mid-level managers and women soldiers on leadership training, personal development and empowerment, communication skills and assertiveness training.

* To develop cooperative venues with partners of University of Haifa, organizations such as the Jewish Arab center, and other groups to encourage women’s studies within their particular sphere of interest.

* To organize together with the Women’s Studies program at the University of Haifa, joint-conferences and lectures (for example: The Virginia L. Snitow Lecture Series).

* To reduce stereotypical thinking among Jewish and Arab high school students.

* To promote intercultural meetings of various women’s groups.

30th May 2004


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