Arab Women in Management and Leadership: Stories from Israel by Khalid Arar; Tamar Shapira; Faisal Azaiza; Rachel

By Khalid Arar; Tamar Shapira; Faisal Azaiza; Rachel Hertz-Lazarowitz;

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On Fridays and Saturdays, when there was no university or school, I would tutor students in my home to earn a little extra. I didn’t know that there was a Friday or Saturday or Sunday. I had no day of rest for years. I worked seven days a week. Today if I have a free day, I have to ask myself what I should do. The secret of my 10 Arab Women in Management and Leadership success was my belief in myself. My mother-in-law got used to the fact that, each time I came to her, I brought books with me, because I had no time to waste.

Women now enjoy more economic independence than ever before. Although most women are unemployed and many are very poor, enough women across the world are employed to make their presence felt and remarked upon. Trends show that “when a country educates its girls and women, its gross domestic product grows. When a corporation adds more women to its senior leadership, the company performs better financially than if there are only men at the top” (13). What roles can women play in the Arab world? This we will explore in the next section.

Gradually over time it has been possible to see signs of the values of this majority culture seeping into Arab society, evidenced, for example, in the encounter of Arab women with the Western culture in Israel’s higher education campuses and in their professional work. Although this encounter often creates frustration, it also potentially constitutes a source of empowerment, involving challenges to the existing social order in Arab society and necessitating the evolution of various coping strategies (Arar, 2010).

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