I have my doubts about whether droves of Bedouin women from the Negev will really go out and join the labour force - it's not easy taking care of 7+ kids and living in a deeply conservative society - but I believe that this is a step in the right direction.
"Gov't to encourage Bedouin women, ultra-Orthodox men, to work"
The cabinet is expected to approve during its meeting Sunday a string of benefits and incentives aimed at encouraging Bedouin women and ultra-Orthodox men, two groups that tend to abstain from working, to join the workforce.
The incentives include subsidized transportation between Bedouin villages and residents' work places, at a sum of up to NIS 3,000 per person. The government will allot NIS 15 million to the implementation of this program.
Studies conducted by government bodies concluded that Bedouin women refrain from seeking employment due to transportation and accessibility problems. Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that the percentage of Arab women within the workforce is 8 percent, as opposed to 67 percent of Jewish women.
The government's program will also subsidize 20 percent of the salaries of Bedouin women, as well as ultra-Orthodox men, and thus will make them more attractive to employers. According to the proposal, the government will subsidize parts of the salaries of these workers at work places where at least four Bedouin women, or ultra-Orthodox men are employed, as opposed to the subsidy currently given to places where at least 15 are employed.
Until now, these benefits have been offered only to potential employers in the production industry. The new proposal adds employers in the tourism and services industries to those eligible for benefits in exchange for hiring members of the groups in question.
The proposal was initiated by Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee Shimon Peres and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai under the "Strategic Plan for the Development of the Negev."
Thursday, April 19, 2007
More "Israeli Racism"
I could not help posting up this article published in Haaretz today. Would an "inherently racist apartheid state" grant special subsidies to a minority group?