Areas of Activity

Women Without Status

About the Project

Initiated in 2018, the “Women Without Status” project provides assistance to women with temporary or no legal status in Israel. The project advocates changing legislation and promoting policies that advance their rights and well-being.

The women we help include victims and survivors of human trafficking, asylum seekers, migrant workers, and women who are married or have long-term relationships with Israeli citizens or permanent residents. The women who reach out to us come from various communities: Eastern European, Palestinian, African, and Asian. Their life stories and backgrounds are diverse and unique to each one. What they have in common are the significant challenges they have to face.

Women without status in Israel face a variety of issues and challenges, including lack of access to public health services, lack of protective and welfare services, lack of employment rights, and lack of civil rights. Many of these women depend on male partners for their temporary status or livelihood, resulting in an increased risk of sexual and domestic violence. Nearly all of these women live in social isolation and suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Most have experienced traumatic interactions with Israeli immigration authorities, police, or governmental institutions. When facing violence or life threatening situation they are often afraid to seek assistance due to fear of being deported or of being separated from their children and families. Additionally, many of the women have language barriers that make it difficult to deal with representative of state services, to explain their needs and to seek help. Each of the women experiences difficult legal, mental, and health circumstances, which are often overwhelming and make it difficult for them to handle everyday life, resulting in depression and despair.

We offer women without status comprehensive and professional support, tailored to their individual needs. Our goal is to promote their social and legal status and to help them feel stronger, empowered, and more secure. 

 The project works in collaboration with a vast network of state officials, civil society organizations, professionals, lawyers and volunteers, who offer support to the women who reach out to us. We work with various individuals and institutions, including a Forum of Civil Society Organizations and state representatives, to promote the safety, well-being and security of women and their families.

 Areas of Activity

  • Research: Through research, we expose the harsh reality of being a woman without status in Israel, while mapping and conceptualizing their needs, as well as strategies and response to the challenges they face.
  • Courses and Workshops: We hold workshops, practical skills training and courses, including Hebrew language courses and workshops on employment, social benefits, and legal rights.
    • A graduation ceremony for a Hebrew course that took place in Jaljulia, organized in collaboration with the local council and the Eshet Hayil (woman of valor) program.

Individual assistance: We connect women to legal counseling and representation, to clinics and medical treatments, including women’s health services and  abortion services. We support and accompany the women in accessing their rights, in emergency situations and in interactions with different state institutions.

For further information, please contact Ayala Olier, the project coordinator, at Isha.wws@gmail.com