Women's Empowerment

The Budo for Peace Women’s Empowerment Program is aimed for young girls, aged 9-17, predominately from traditional communities which lack equal gender opportunities and expectations. This unfavorable cultural climate, characterized by strict behavioral expectations and dress codes, often leads to low self-esteem, scarce personal achievement and continued deference to the male-dominated culture.


Participation in this educational martial arts group provides these young girls with a supportive framework which encourages self expression, self confidence and allows their voice to be heard and their personal power to be felt.


The project benefits these girls by:

  • Focusing on improving their individuals skills, strength and creating ambition for success
  • Improving their self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Promoting self-expression
  • Maintaining culturally acceptable dress and behavior
  • Advocating male participants to view girls as equals
  • Encouraging them to claim their rightful position within their respective communities


BFP is also in the process of creating new courses for adult women focused on empowerment and confidence-building through training in self-defense. These 4-session seminars will be run periodically in various locations around Israel and with the same  outcomes as the youth program.  

This program is, in part, inspired by "Shadya," a film produced by BFP Founder Danny Hakim.

It relates the story of an Israeli Arab girl, Shadya, from a traditional Muslim home in an Arab village in the Galilee who, against all odds and facing countless pressures and challenges  becomes a world karate champion representing Israel.  Under Danny Hakim's training, Shadya become a mentor for girls in her village, world champion and a BFP instructor.

Due to the film's international success, she also became a role model for many girls and women around the world. The film won first place in the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2005 and was later purchased by Public Broadcast Services(PBS) in the US for their Global Voices series.  Today, it can be found on the Independent Television Service website as part of the "Women and Girls Lead" Initiative, complete with accompanying educational materials.