Strategic Policies for Increasing Arab Women's Participation in the Labor Market

A significant problem facing the social and economic development of Arab society today is the low rate of Arab women's participation in the labor force. Only one fifth of Arab women participate in the labor force, compared to 60% among Jewish women in Israel. This low employment rate is reflected in the high poverty levels in Arab society where more than 50% of the Arab households live under the poverty line according to the 2008 statistics. Therefore, it is crucial to look for strategies that aim to increase the rate of women participating in the labor market as a means for raising the socio-economic levels among the Arab society in Israel.


Accordingly, the aim of this research is to identify the social, cultural, and ethnic obstacles that prevent the participation of women in the labor market, and then to develop strategies to increase their participation. The data collection is based on a wide empirical study using personal interviews among a random sample of Arab women. The sample is composed of 1500 participants, where 50% among them participate in the labor force and the rest do not. This is the largest and most comprehensive study undertaken which focuses on the issue of employment among Arab women in Israel. Many formal institutions and organizations of civil society have expressed interest in this study, among them the Treasury Ministry and the Social and Economic Council of


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