The Bezeq telecommunications group, in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor launched a new call center on Monday inside a mosque located in the Bedouin village of Hura.
The call center, which provides assistance to Internet customers, was proposed by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and JDC-Israel as part of the effort to combat female unemployment in the Negev community.
The center is managed and operated by 50 Bedouin women, but it is expected to employ more women in the future. It offers assistance in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian.
The call center provides a solution for Hura's female residents, who wanted to enter the job market without having to work outside the community.
The women were trained at the Rayan employment center in preparation for Bezeq's entry exams.
There are roughly 1.5 million Arabs in Israel (about 20% of the general population), but statistics reveal that only 25% of Arab women who are of working age (20-64) are currently employed. The employment rate among Arab men is similar to the employment rate among Jewish men, but their average salary is significantly lower.
"Integrating the Negev's Bedouin population into the workforce is a national goal of the highest importance," said Shalom Simhon, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor. "We hope this initiative will encourage other companies to launch such calls centers in Bedouin communities."
Hura Council head Mohamed al-Nabari said the call center offers Bedouin women a "real and equal opportunity" while taking "cultural nuances" into consideration.