Tuesday, March 11
Arab and Jewish women march for International Women's Day
On 8th March the Israeli-Palestinian workers' organising campaign Workers' Advice Centre-Maan took part in the celebration of International Women's Day by staging a joint Arab-Jewish women's march against unemployment and low-paid work.
"On International Women’s Day (Saturday 8 March) hundreds of women will march through the streets of Tel Aviv. These women, mostly agricultural workers from the Galilee and the Triangle and organized through WAC, will march to assert their right to work under fair conditions to lift themselves out of poverty. Most Arab women in Israel do not work. Only around 17% are part of the labor force, and among these few, unemployment is rife. It is no surprise, then, that almost half the Arab citizens of Israel live in poverty, and two out of every three Arab children are poor.
"Arab women are not the only ones living in poverty. Tens of thousands of contract and manpower agency workers, temporary workers, waitresses, single mothers, Mizrahi women, immigrants and migrant workers are also under the poverty line. They are the first victims of policies that lead to widening gaps between the poor on one hand and the affluent on the other, who blame the poor for their poverty.
"The government speaks eloquently about the need to encourage women to work, but in practice it continues to allow the import of cheap labor, is a central factor in enabling employment through manpower agencies that pay less than the minimum wage, and turns a blind eye to substandard work conditions – all this after destroying the safety net provided by the welfare state. Thus a situation has been created in which women who work remain in poverty."
Posted by David Broder at 2:53 pm