This study investigates the factors behind the lower rate of participation of Palestinian Arab women in the labor market in Israel, compared to Jewish women, despite the higher educational attainment of this group. In the study, we focused on four factors that can explain this situation to us: 1- Socio-economic factors such as age and education, 2- Cultural factors such as religiosity of the woman-individual and her family, 3- Public policies such as childcare policies, 4- Early retirement of Arab women from Labor market. We found that these four factors influence the odds of Palestinian Arab women participating in the labor market. And we finished
The latter is to discuss the implications of our study’s findings on labor market policies.
The labor force participation rate (LFP) of Palestinian women in Israel was consistently and significantly lower than that of Jewish women and Palestinian men. In 2016, 3 out of 4 Arab women in Israel were out of the labor force, compared to only 1 in 4 Jewish women2. Recent studies have tried to explain the persistence of this low rate of economic activity among Palestinian women in Israel by focusing on cultural influences such as religion, gender norms, and patriarchy (Sa’ar, 2017; Abu-Baker, 2016; Yonay Lewin-Epstein & Semyonov, 2019; Schnell & Government policies, and discrimination by employers based on ethnicity/nationality or religion (Lewin-Epstein & Semyonov, 2017; Sa’ar, 2015). Yonay & Kraus).
While these studies clearly demonstrate the importance of this topic, their contribution to providing definitive answers to the explanation for the low rate of participation of Arab women in the Israeli labor market remains insufficient and highly biased for three reasons. First, however, most of these studies initially provide explanations based on well-established and respected literature (see, for example, Herzog 1999; Khattab, 2002; Margalioth, 2003; Semyonov, Lewin-Epstein, & Brahm 2004). Second, most of these studies are unable to empirically examine claims about the effect of culture. Third, the primary concern of these studies is to explain why Palestinian women are more likely not to enter the labor market, while there was less interest in knowing why Palestinian women tend to leave the labor market at much higher rates than women Jewish or Palestinian men.
This study seeks to go beyond the existing literature by focusing on four factors that determine the participation of Palestinian women in the labor market. The first factor is social and economic, such as educational attainment. The second factor is cultural beliefs and attitudes towards women working outside the home. Arab women are more likely to face traditional norms and restrictions regarding their participation in the formal labor market, especially in religious families. The third factor is family structure and childcare policies: women who have a large number of children at home and less access to childcare support are less likely to participate in the labor market.
The fourth factor is the earlier retirement of Arab women from the labor market compared to Jewish women and is likely to exacerbate the disparity in labor force participation rates across the two groups. Overall, the main contribution of this paper is the use of new data sources to identify the different factors that explain the income gap between Jewish and Arab women in Israel, and thus improve our understanding of how policies are designed to promote greater labor force participation among women.
Arab women in Israel.
To study these factors, we use two main data sources. The first data set is the Israeli Labor Force Survey (1995-2016) and the second is the Social Survey (2002-2016). The workforce is. We find that socioeconomic, religious/cultural, as well as public policy factors are important in explaining the gap in labor market participation between the two groups.
We also find that Palestinian women are more likely to retire early than Jewish women. Central to the differences in retirement age between Jewish and Arab women are women who previously worked in highly skilled occupations. We argue that the factors that facilitate the entry of Palestinian women into the labor market (attraction factors) are one side of the puzzle, but we need, to complete the second side, to consider the factors
that cause women to retire early (push factors). The main characteristic of a social survey is that it includes detailed information on religious and cultural factors that may influence participation in