Less than a fifth of Palestinian women participate in work force

While in Israel 59% of women participate in the work force, only 19% of Palestinian women are employed in either part-time or full-time positions.

March 7, 2018 16:41
1 minute read.
Palestinian women celebrate outside Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Palestinian women celebrate outside Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN - REUTERS)


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Less than a fifth of Palestinian women in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip participate in the workforce, according to a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report.

The Bureau of Statistics published the finding as part of a special report it issued on Wednesday ahead of International Women’s Day.

Nineteen percent of women in the West Bank and Gaza have either part- or full-time jobs, whereas 71.2% of men have some form of employment.

In Israel, 59% of women participate in the labor force, according to the World Bank.

Louay Shehada, a Bureau of Statistics official, said in a phone call that anyone who is 15 or older and works at least 15 hours weekly is counted in the workforce.

The Bureau of Statistics report also found that the average wage of Palestinian women is 29% lower than that of their male counterparts.

It indicates that women’s and men’s mean salaries respectively stand at NIS 85 and NIS 120 daily.

Fadwa al-Labadi, a professor of women’s studies at Al-Quds University, cited three main reasons for the gender wage gap.

“The first reason is women receive few promotions compared to men. The second reason is that employers do not give women additional child allotments, as they do for men. The final reason is employers in the private sector provide women with lesser salaries than men,” she said in a phone call.

The Bureau of Statistics report also found that 20% of women were married before turning 18, while only 1% of men wedded prior to that age.

In particular, it says that 37% and 42% of women in the Hebron and Gaza City regions, respectively, married before reaching the age of 18.

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