Nabila Espanioly
Nabila Espanioly. Photo by Abdallah Shema
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In honor of International Women's Day, the international organization Women Deliver compiled a list of 100 people worldwide - some famous, some not - who have improved women's lives. The list included one person from Israel: Nabila Espanioly, an Arab Israeli who founded and runs the Al-Tufula Pedagogical Center and Multipurpose Women's Center in Nazareth.

Espanioly, 56 and unmarried, is a social worker and clinical psychologist. She is also active in the Hadash political party and in various Jewish-Arab peace groups. In the past, her political and social activism frequently got her fired, she said - including from a job at the National Insurance Institute many years ago.

In 1989, she launched Al-Tufula, and the center has since run numerous projects to empower Arab women. It is also active in women's health issues.

While her lifestyle choices made her unusual for an Arab woman of her generation, today, she said, "there are more and more women of independence and wide-ranging activity, and that contributes a great deal to Palestinian Arab society in Israel."