We recently received some encouraging news from Taub, a research institute that studies and makes recommendations concerning Israel’s social policy. One finding: increasing numbers of Israeli women are entering the workforce and procuring gainful employment to help support their families. Among the most important factors contributing to this positive change is an increase in access to education, which is making it easier for more women to pursue university degrees. Other explanations for this improvement include more accessible/affordable child care, anti-discrimination laws, subsidized maternity leave, and the expansion of Israel’s service sector.
The two groups most responsible for the change are primarily immigrant women from places like Caucasus Mountain region of the former Soviet Union or from agrarian communities in Ethiopia; and Israeli Arab women. Through JDC’s TEVET employment initiative, these women are increasingly overcoming the social and cultural barriers that keep them from landing gainful employment and breaking out of the cycle of poverty that so many of their families live in. TEVET’s Women of Valor program is just one of many examples of how underserved women can flourish when given the right tools and support. They end up benefiting themselves, their families, and as Taub studies affirm, the State of Israel as a whole.
*Taub is an independent research institute that receives support from JDC.