views updated


a zionist women's organization active in israel and the diaspora.

Naʿamat (the Hebrew acronym for the Movement of Working Women and Volunteers) was founded in 1921 by Rahel Yanait Ben-Zvi and a group of women in the United States who raised $500 to plant trees. Naʿamat U.S.A. was formed at the same time. BenZvi and others founded Naʿamat in protest against a society in which women were relegated to the kitchens while men worked the land and built the country. It was the first feminist movement in Palestine and was affiliated with the Histadrut (General Confederation of Labor). Its work began with agricultural training schools and expanded into providing child care for children of working women and vocational training for women who wanted to work.

During the 1960s, Naʿamat established a fund enabling Israeli women to pursue higher education. The organization set up legal aid bureaus during the 1970s, and Status of Women departments were established in Israel. Since 1990 Naʿamat's agenda has grown to include working with immigrants, a support program for single-parent families, centers for the treatment and prevention of violence in the family, and a shelter for battered women.

The Naʿamat Israel elects a president and management every four years, along with the leadership of the Histadrut. The president elected in 2002 was Talia Livni.

see also ben-zvi, rahel yanait; gender: gender and law; gender: gender and politics; gender: gender and the economy; histadrut; israel: military and politics; israel: political parties in; zionism.


Naʿamat. <>.

paul rivlin