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UNITED
NATIONS

Distr.
GENERAL
CEDAW/C/ISR/1-2
8 April 1997

Original: English

COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
(CEDAW)


CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER
ARTICLE 18 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL
FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN


Initial and second periodic reports of States parties

ISRAEL*




Introduction

Israel ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women on October 3rd, 1991. The following is the Combined Initial and Second Report submitted by Israel to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The Report was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Report was prepared by:

Dr. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari
Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law

Managing Coordinator: Ms. Atara Kenigsberg, Adv.
Research Assistants:
Ms. Lila Margalit, Ms. Skaidrit Bateman,
Ms. Elisa Schwartz, Ms. Naama Heller-Tal,
Mr. Shamai Leibowitz, Mr. Yehudah Bendekovski
(Computer Technician)

Editor: Dr. Susan Kahn

The aim of this Report is to give a comprehensive description of the legal and sociological situation of women in Israel. Accordingly, each chapter will be divided into legal and sociological sections. The detailed questions which formulated by the Internatioal Women's Rights Action Watch guided this Report, and will be addressed to the Israeli context.

During the course of the extensive research that was required for the production of this Report; all government ministries, as well as other relevant government institutes, were requested to supply information and data concerning their areas of operation. The information contained in the Report relies heavily on the materials supplied by the various ministries and institutes, as well as on information supplied by NGOs, and on other independent and academic research.

NGOs were significantly involved in the preparation of this report. All the major NGOs that deal with women's rights and women's status in Israel were contacted at the initial stages of the work. The organizations were asked to provide information about their activities, and to offer help in their areas of specialization. In addition, the preparation of this report was announced to the Feminist Conference in October 1996, in which all feminist organizations in Israel participated. Furthermore, an announcement about this project and an appeal for help in obtaining information was placed in the Israel Women's Network newsletter, which reaches over 1500 readers.


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ARTICLE 2

Obligations to Eliminate Discrimination

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3.5 Measures Taken on the Municipal Level

As explained under Article 7 below, women's representation on the municipal level in Israel is only slightly more substantial than their representation on the national level. One measure that has been taken in order to compensate for the lack of formal representation on the municipal level is the nomination of an Advisor on the Advancement of Women in Local Authorities, appointed in 1994 by the Chair of the Union of Local Authorities in Israel. This appointment, supported by the Prime-Minister's Advisor on the Status of Women, reflects a change of attitude among municipal authorities by recognizing the need to take women's concerns more seriously. The Advisor is a member of the central administration of the Union of Local Authorities in Israel, and her policy was drafted by a Committee on the Status of Women. This Committee is composed of several members, mainly women members of local councils and is presently headed by the only woman who was elected as a head of a local council. On the basis of a decision made by the Administrator of the Union of Local Authorities, this Committee participates in all assemblies of heads of municipalities. The Advisor is in charge of establishing Women's Councils in each local council in Israel. So far, seventy such Women's Councils have been established in Israel, of which eight are in Arab localities. In addition, the Advisor is involved in promoting legislation dealing with women's daily concerns on the municipal level and cooperates closely with the Ministry of Labour and Welfare on issues such as shelters for battered women.

The aim of the establishment of local Women's Councils is to designate a special forum within which women's particular concerns and needs can be addressed. Among the taks of these councils are: 1) coordination between all women's organizations in the specific locality for the purpose of fulfilling women's local needs; 2) promotion of special educational programs on gender equality, prevention of family violence, and technological education for girls; 3) advancement of the institution of the long school-day and better day-care facilities; 4) provision of services for women with special needs such as single mothers, older women, immigrant women and Arab women; 5) advancement of municipal legislation for opening government and municipal bureaus in the afternoons and in the evenings; and more. The Women's Councils' work-plan is based upon the model provided by the first Women's Council established in Haifa in 1978, by the current Advisor on the Advancement of Women in Local Authorities. Each of the Councils is headed by a woman who also acts as the Advisor on the Status of Women to the Head of the Municipal Council.

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ARTICLE 3

The Development and Advancement of Women

States Parties shall take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men.

1. Non-Governmental Women's Organizations in Israel

1.1 Introduction

Women's NGOs have always played a major role in advancing the status of women in Israel by changing the public perceptions of women, promoting women's role in the public and private spheres, operating day-care centers, operating emergency-lines for female victims of violence, operating shelters for battered women, and more. In addition, these NGOs have managed to put many of these issues on the public and government agendas.

The exact number of women's NGOs operating in Israel is estimated at 100. They vary tremendously in size, ideology, socio-economic characteristics of their members, activities, goals, and so on. Some concentrate on providing services to single-parent families, others to lesbian women, Arab women, and so on. The following paragraphs do not represent a comprehensive overview of all of these organizations; instead only a selection of the more major organizations are presented.

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1.3. Organizations for the Advancement of Arab Women

Few women's organizations have been set up by Arab women for Arab women in Israel. Recently, non-governmental Arab movements have begun to encourage women's participation in order to obtain foreign aid and support from international organizations that provide funds for weaker sectors in developing societies, such as women.

1.3.1. Arab Organizations for the Promotion of Women

Taandi, the Movement of Democratic Women, was founded in 1951 as the women's "division" of the Communist Party known today as Hadash (the Democratic Front for Equality and Peace), was the first organization to offer Arab women the opportunity for political involvement. By the 1970s, the Women's Democratic Movement enjoyed the active support of many Arab village women. Among Taandi's achievements are the establishment and maintenance of 33 kindergartens in Arab villages and the celebration of March 8 as an International Women's Day in Arab sectors. The organization also provided vocational training for Arab village women, particularly in sewing. However, while the leaders of Hadash as well as the leaders of other Arab parties who established women's divisions in the 1970s (such as the Progressive Arab Party and the Democratic Arab Party) were known to be proud of the achievements of their women's division, they did not actually integrate them into the inner workings of the parties.

The Arraba Almostakbal Association is a community organization established to encourage women from the Arab village of Arraba to participate in public social life. The association offers courses in traditional occupations like sewing, as well as vocational courses. The association models itself after "Gafra," the Movement of Palestinian and Arab Women in Israel, founded in the town of Taibe in 1990 in order to promote Palestinian women socially, economically, and politically. These organizations are currently waging a campaign against the widespread practice of arranged marriages in Arab villages.

Al Fanar (the lighthouse), also known as "The Movement of Palestinian Feminists," was established in 1990, as an informal study group on the status and treatment of women in Arab society. Since its establishment, the organization has primarily dedicated itself to fighting "honor" killings (the number of "honor" related murders per year is estimated between 20-40.) The organization considers acts of violence against women to be byproducts of the patriarchal structure of Palestinian society, and opposes it in the most radical fashion of all Palestinian Women's groups. Al- Fanar protests arranged marriages of women to their relatives, sexual and other physical assaults on women by their husbands and male relatives, denial of education and job opportunities to women who are taken out of school as teenagers to carry out domestic chores, and the spread of defamatory rumors and gossip about women as a means of controlling their behavior.

The organization has attracted widespread criticism for its radicalism from Arab political parties, and from the growing Islamic fundamentalist movement. On several occasions Al-Fanar's members have reportedly been threatened. However, a growing number of women have responded to Al-Fanar's advertisements for help, including assistance from a Jewish-run shelter for battered women. Currently, Al-Fanar runs on a modest budget and is supported almost entirely by its members, though it has registered as a non-profit organization and is seeking contributions. It publishes a quarterly newsletter which is distributed door-to-door, and has published articles in Israeli Arab newspapers. While no accurate information is available as to the characteristics of its members, most of its members are believed to be single university graduates who reside in Haifa.

1.3.2. Other Organizations Which Promote Arab Women

Na'amat, the largest women's organization in Israel, is composed of both Jewish and Arab women and has opened branches in many Arab villages. As of 1987, Na'amat established 70 centers for vocational training and social activities in Arab villages and cities. However, Arab women have complained that the services provided for them are not proportional to their representation amongst the members of Na'amat and more funds should be allocated to servicesin the Arab sector. For example, only 5.17% of the daycare centers established by Na'amat have been established in Arab villages.

The Israeli League for the Promotion of Human Rights provides legal support for Arab women, particularly regarding labor disputes. The legal support is advertised through informative pamphlets put out by the organization in Arabic.

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ARTICLE 7

Political and Public Life

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11. Women's Political Activism

The involvement of women in extra-parliamentary political activity has been aimed at influencing the decision making process from the grassroots level. The focus of these groups has been organizing demonstrations, rallies, peace marches and other activities aimed at influencing public opinion.

In 1977 the peace movement known as Shalom Achsav (Peace Now) was established with the aim of pressuring the Israeli government to consider constructive peace proposals. Although many women participated in the activities of this movement it was not an exclusively a women's movement.

Many women have linked their broader political involvement with feminist political strategies. In 1982, after the Peace for the Galilee Operation in Lebanon, some fifty women, and a few men, joined together under the name "Parents against the Silence," to collect signatures and sign petitions calling for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon. Another group called "Women against the Invasion of Lebanon" was formed consisting of feminist activists who demanded the immediate withdrawal of the troops from Lebanon.

After the Lebanon War ended, this group continued to operate under the name "Women against the Occupation." They protested the conditions under which Palestinian women were held in Israeli prisons.

After the Palestinian uprising (intifada) broke out in December 1987, a women's peace movement was formed which protested the military policy in the occupied territories. The group, called Women in Black, gathered every Friday afternoon wearing black at a central square in Jerusalem to mourn the victims of violence and called for the end of the occupation. Later this form of demonstration spread to 33 other locations in Israel. The Women in Black became an embodiment of peaceful protest which was widely imitated around the world.

Another peace group which was formed in Haifa was called Women for Women. This organization also demanded the end of the occupation and for the recognition of a national right to self-determination for the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP) was founded in 1988 and focused on the fate of individual Palestinian women who had been imprisoned. The WOFPP continually brought human rights violations in military jails to the attention of the Israeli public.

All of the women's peace groups and activities have been guided by a desire to establish and institutionalize a Palestinian-Israeli dialogue. For this purpose, many joint conferences and demonstrations were held, and meetings between Israeli and Palestinian women were based on the assumption that concerned women could eliminate prejudices in personal conversations. The women's peace movement also managed to attract the attention of the Israeli population at large by organizing large-scale events and conferences which were open to the public. Thus, the peace initiative of the government headed by the late Yitzhak Rabin in 1993 can be partly attributed to the efforts and continued protest of the women's peace groups.

The efforts of Israeli women to join and influence the peace process continued after the Oslo Accords were signed in September 1993, when the Jerusalem Link was founded. The Jerusalem Link comprises a coordinating committee of two women's centers, independent of each other, one Jewish in West Jerusalem, "Bat Shalom" (Hebrew for Daughter of Peace), and the other Arab in East Jerusalem, "Jerusalem Center for Women". They organize joint demonstration against human rights violations in Israeli jails and organize drives to collect signatures. Both organizations are concerned with promoting feminist ideas both in the Israeli and Palestinian public.

Another women's group called Association of Women for Peace was formed since the signing of the Oslo Accords. The association holds meetings of Israeli and Palestinian women, and its goal is to strengthen the peace process and to facilitate the implementation of the Interim Agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Since the Oslo Accords, a right-wing women's group was formed in protest against Israeli concessions in the peace process. This group, called Women in Green, derives its name from its rival Women in Black. They participate in demonstrations which oppose the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories, and protest the Israeli willingness to give up territory in exchange for peace.

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ARTICLE 10

Education

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2. Illiteracy Rates and Educational Levels

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9. Teachers

9.1. Teaching- as a Feminine Profession

The teaching profession in Israel is composed primarily of women. As of 1992-93, more than 75% of all the teachers in Israel were women. Among Arabs however, the gap between the sexes within the teaching profession is considerably smaller. Furthermore as the level of the educational institution increases the female majority of teachers decreases. This is illustrated through the following 1993 statistics. in 1993, women made up 90.4% of teachers in Hebrew elementary schools and 53% of teachers within Arab elementary schools. In post- elementary schools women made up 70.2% of teachers in Hebrew schools and 29% in Arab schools. These post-elementary schools can be divided into middle school and upper school. Within middle schools 76% of the teachers in Hebrew education and 32% of the teachers in Arab education are women. In high schools, 62% of teachers in Hebrew education and 26% in Arab education are women. The percentage of women teachers has been steadily increasing throughout the past years.

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12. Women's Employment among the Arab Population in Israel

12.1 Trends in Occupations in Arab Villages

When discussing Arab women, a distinction must be made between women living in cities and women living in villages: Arab city women consistently enjoy a more prominent status in most realms of life than do those women who reside in villages. However, over 90% of Israeli Arab women live in villages.

Most Arab villages are located in Israel's periphery, far from Israel's centers of economic activity. In the past, agriculture was an integral source of income for Arab villages. The nature of the agricultural activity allowed women to play a leading role, while maintaining their traditional role as housewives. Down-sizing in the agricultural industry, which occurred as a result of the expropriation of farm lands, shifted the main economic focus of the villages to city work and left a vacuum in the job market for Arab women. Although many village men moved into the modern work sector, their female counterparts could not and did not leave their traditional roles. Thus, while men left their villages to work in the Israeli cities, women remained at home to run the households, look after the children, and work the fields, without tangible compensation.

The first wave of Arab women seeking work outside of their villages began in the 1960s; most of these women found work in nearby Jewish villages and cooperatives. The work did not require any formal education or literacy. In the 1970s, Arab women began to take on blue collar positions in factories set up near their villages. Many Arab village women worked in the textile industry, and have remained employed there. In 1987, 17% of the employees in the textile industry were Arab women, and by 1989, the percentage of Arab women who worked in the textile industry reached 29%. Many sewing shops were also established inside the villages, the owners of which were sub-contractors for the large, centrally located Israeli textile factories in Israel. The investors increased their profits by employing Arab village women with little education for low wages. The difficult conditions of employment for these women, which often include long workdays, are particularly straining for married Arab village women, who are expected to play dual roles, both as housewives and wage-earners.

During the 1990s, more Arab women have entered the Israeli job market, particularly the unskilled labor market, in order to help their families carry increasing financial burdens. Like their male counterparts, the majority of Arab village women still hold menial jobs and are compensated accordingly. In many instances, their compensation does not meet the minimum wage standards nor are they properly compensated for working overtime. However, it should be noted that in recent years more Arab women have been filling positions which require a high-school education. A significant percentage of these women teach in Arab schools, mostly elementary schools.

12.2 Workforce Size and Unemployment Rate

Of the 350,000 Arab women who are of working age (over 15), about 83% (253,500) do not belong to the work force. The rate of unemployment among Arab women who belong to the workforce as determined by the numbers that are registered at the Employment Bureau, exceeds the unemployment rate in Israel (11.7% are unemployed, as opposed to 9.9% of their Jewish counterparts), and is especially high amongst Arab village women. However, many Arab women of working age, and specifically Arab village women, do not register themselves at the Employment Bureau, and consequently they do not enjoy unemployment benefits. Usually there are two reasons for why these women fail to register: 1. The women's parents or husbands do not allow them to leave their village for this purpose. 2. The high rate of unemployment creates pessimism in terms of their chances of finding work, even through the Employment Bureau. 3. In many cases ,the expense of the trip to the Bureau is a deterrent, since it is usually far from the village.

Currently, many jobs traditionally occupied by Arab women may be eliminated due to economic difficulties in the textile industry and decreased need for hand-sewn materials. There exists a very real possibility that about 11,000 women, which account for over 20% of the Arab women's workforce, will lose their jobs without finding alternative employment opportunities in the industry. The employment Bureau has been involved in an effort to rehabilitate some of these factories and sewing shops, in order to protect the livelihood of the Arab women employees.

Researchers conclude that the percentage of Arab village women who actually participate in the work force is much lower than their potential participation in the Arab work force. Despite the growth of this proportion since the 1960s, when a mere 9% of Arab women participated in the work force, both the proportion and its rate of growth remain significantly lower than that of Jewish women.

12.4 Causes for Unemployment

The reluctance of the traditional Arab communities to allow women to work outside their homes stems from religious, social, and economic concerns. Several elements of the local social and economic infra-structure within villages have had an adverse effect on the scope of employment opportunities amongst the Arab village women:

1. The Arab villages are usually satellites of nearby Jewish cities and villages, from which the Arab villages receive their goods and services. Consequently , the Arab villages have not developed their own commercial centers or institutions which provide jobs, particularly for the female Arab work force. Branches of industry in which a relatively high proportion of Arab women are employed, such as the manufacturing industry, were also not developed in the Arab villages. Instead, most of the industrial ventures in the Arab villages were products of small, private ventures which could not absorb large numbers of workers, especially not women. The villages did not receive any work from outside sources other than sewing shops. In contrast to the opportunities offered by outside employers to women in nearby Jewish villages, no employers in advanced industries have been offering work opportunities for the women within villages.

2. Lack of fluency in Hebrew among Arab village women limits the scope of employment opportunities in Israel and decreases their chances of obtaining jobs, particularly in the Jewish cities and villages. Since the same opportunities to learn Hebrew exist for Arab women in both cities and villages, the difference in their levels of proficiency in Hebrew has been attributed to the effect of learning Hebrew in informal settings, namely through direct contact with the Hebrew-speaking Jewish population. Studies indicate that 61% of Arab women speak Hebrew and only 22% of employed Arab women do not speak Hebrew.
Table 12 - Knowledge of Hebrew and Its Effect on Work Participation

Degree of
Participation
Of Those
Who Participate
100%
Of Those
Who Don't
100%
Knowledge or Hebrew
60.9
82.1
46.0
Fluent
17.4
3.8
6.5
Speaking Only
16.9
10.4
19.7
Reading and Writing
4.8
3.4
26.9
None

Source: Natanzon 1996


3. That Arab village women do not take full advantage of the work opportunities available to them can be understood as a result of the traditional Arab lifestyle in which women are largely confined to the home.

12.4 Differences in Employment Patterns Amongst Single & Married Arab Women

The ability to work outside the home can serve as a litmus test for examining the various different in statuses among women in Arab society at different stages of their lives. In the lower socio-economic sectors of Arab society, and especially in large families, single women are considered to be an integral source of income to the family, though often, these single women express dissatisfaction with the fact that their salaries must often be donated entirely to their families. In upper-class sectors of Arab society, the degree of independence which a single Arab woman enjoys is directly related to her parents' status and their attitude towards their daughters as autonomous beings. Thus, the percentage of both single upper-class and lower-class women working is relatively high: upper-class women work because of positive attitudes towards their abilities and role as workers, while the lower-class women work for strictly financial reasons. However, both groups of single Arab women enjoy a greater degree of freedom than married Arab women.

Arab society confers a special social and economic status to married women. For example, women may pursue their education until their wedding, at which point they may only obtain jobs which do not conflict with their ability to raise children. The labor force participation of Arab and Druze women has been found to peak at ages 18-24, and decline with marriage or the birth of a first child. Thus, after marriage, most Arab women lose much of the independence they enjoyed as single women.

Despite the social advancement of Arab women and the increasing openness to women's issues in Arab society, social norms still confine the married women to the role of caretakers of their husbands and children. According to the traditional gender-roles in the Arab family, a married woman is not obliged to take a part in providing the family income as long as there is no economic need for her to work, and as long as the expected compensation for her work outside the home is not significantly higher than the expenses which arise from leaving the house. Currently, most Arab women elect to stay at home and care for their children.

Many Arab women who work elect to take part-time positions. Thus, the percentage of employed Arab women who hold part-time positions is twice as large as the percentage of men employed part time (a corresponding percentage is found in Israeli society at large, as seen above). Moreover, twice as many Arab village women work in part-time jobs as do Arab city women.


Table 13 - Work Patterns of City and Village Arab Women
Type of Locality
Full Time
Part Time
Hourly
Cities
Villages
73
49.3
16.2
38
10.8
12.7
Souce: Natanzon 1996

This is due to the fact that many of the village women hold temporary seasonal jobs in agriculture and light industry in the nearby Jewish villages, while Arab women in the cities tend to hold jobs that require more advanced skills, such as jobs in the government, municipalities, education, the health industry, and the business sector (as office support).

The average age of Arab working women was found to be lower than that of women who did not work, and the maximum age of working women in Bedouin villages was found to be 37. These findings may be due to the fact that women in the 35-44 age groups were found to have a higher average number of children than those in the 25-34 age groups, and as the size of their families increases, it becomes increasingly difficult for women to find childcare arrangements for their children. Thus, the lack of proper childcare is another reason that relatively few Arab women with children work outside the homes.

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Chart 6 --Medical Personnel

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12. Arab Women and Health Services

Prior to the enactment of the new health insurance law, health clinics in almost all Jewish cities and villages, while nearly a third of the Arab villages lacked clinics. For example, in the Arab city of Um El Phachem, which housed 27,000 residents, the General Sick Fund provided only one gynecologist for its 18,000 members. In the new law the government adopted the policy of indirectly encouraging the Sick Funds to accept members who live in Israel's peripheries, such as Um El Phachem, by allotting funds in proportion to the number of members in each sick fund, an by specifying that more funds will be allotted for those living in the peripheral areas. Maccabi, the sick fund considered to provide the most qualitative health care services, began establishing branches in Arab villages while the new law was still being discussed in the Knesset. Thus, the new law has in fact brought an immediate improvement in the quantity and proximity of health care services to Israeli Arabs.

A recent study conducted to gauge the level of satisfaction with the changes in the health care system brought on by the new law (Berg, 1996) found that the level of satisfaction from the new law was highest in the Arab community: 31% of the Arab residents included in the study felt that health care services had improved as a result of the new law, as opposed to a mere 17% of the veteran Israeli society.

Since 1994, the Ministry of Health has joined the active effort to close the gaps in health care between Israel's minority groups and the majority by allotting a proportion of its yearly budget for this express purpose since. In
1995, 5.1 million NIS (roughly 1.5 million dollars) were allotted, which amounted to 2% of the Health Ministry's budget, and by 1996, 9.7 million NIS were allotted this purpose. Most of the funds have been used to employ more care-givers and purchase equipment for the clinics serving minority populations.

12.1 Health Care Services offered to Arab Women

As mentioned above, the Minister of Health, through its local public health departments, operates an extensive network of 435 Mother-Child clinics throughout the country that offer high-quality and relatively inexpensive pre-and post-natal care to women on a neighborhood basis. While Mother-Child stations had been set up in all Jewish cities, in 1991 20 Arab villages still lacked Mother-Child clinics. In response, during 1993-1994, the Health Ministry approved the construction of 20 new Mother-Child clinics in Arab towns and villages. In 1995, the Health Ministry approved the construction of an additional 30 mother-Child clinics in Arab towns and villages, and 1996 the Health Ministry approved the construction of an additional 27 new Mother-Child Clinics for Arab towns and villages and spent 6.5 million NIS (roughly 2 million Dollars,) on their construction. A study conducted in 1992 among 320 Arab mothers in seven hospitals in Northern Israel found that Christian Arab women, who tend to be more educated than their Druze and Moslem counterparts, preferred private doctors to the Mother-Child care centers and visited the centers less frequently.

Geriatric services for Arab women were virtually non-existent until 1993. No Arab town had institutions with beds for geriatric purposes and geriatric care was provided for the Arab elderly mainly by family members even after the enactment of the Nursing Care Insurance law - 1988. However, caretakers who are not members of the patient's immediate family and do not live in the same household have begun to take collect the allowance provided by the Nursing Care Insurance law as compensation for their services. Presently 12% of all Arab senior citizens receive both a senior citizen's allowance and nursing care allowance, while only 6% of all Jewish senior citizens receive both allowances. In addition, the first old-age home specifically geared for the Arab community opened in 1993 in the Arab town of Deboriah.

12.2. Life Expectancy and Causes of Death Among Arab Women

Arab women have a life expectancy of 77.1 years as compared to Jewish women whose life expectancy is 79.5 years. The leading cause of death (47%) among both Arab and Jewish women is heart disease. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Jewish women, and only the third leading cause of death among Arab women. However, the death rate from cancer among Arab women has been rising, and the difference between the two groups has been decreasing. Strokes have been found to be the third largest cause of death among Israeli women in general, leading to the death of 165 out of every 100,000 Arab women, as compared to 119 out of every 100,000 Jewish women. High blood pressure, which is generally more common among men than women, is particularly common and dangerous to the health of Arab women.

12.3. Infant Mortality Rates among Arab Newborns

Despite the general improvement in health services since the establishment of State of Israel, a significant gap remains between the infant mortality rates in the Arab sector as opposed to the Jewish sector.


Table 11 - Health Determinants

    Jews
    Arabs
Stillborns per 1,000 live Births (1991)
    3.7
    6.5 (Moslems)
Infant Mortality (1994)
    5.9
    11.5
Life Expectancy (1993)
    Women - 79.5
    Men - 75.7
    Women - 77.1
    Men - 73.6
Source: CBS, SAI 1996

Statistical analysis completed in 1992 found that in the cities included in the study, the 9 cities with the highest infant mortality rates (spanning from 16.8% -24.6%) were cities in which the majority of the population were Arabs.


Chart 7 - Jewish and Arab Stillborns and Infant Mortality Rates & Life Expectancy

It was not possible at this time to reproduce the chart or table which appears here in the text, but you may obtain it by contacting the Division for the Advancement of Women directly.

Chart 8 - Causes for Infant Mortality, Jewish and Arab Population

It was not possible at this time to reproduce the chart or table which appears here in the text, but you may obtain it by contacting the Division for the Advancement of Women directly.

12.4. Fertility and Family Planning

The birth rate among Israel's Arab Moslems dropped from an average of 9.22 children per family in the 1960s to 8.5 in 1975, and continued to drop dramatically until 1986, when it stabilized at 4.6. Recently there has been a small rise in fertility rates among Moslems (the rate rose to 4.7 in 1995) , but a decline continued among Christian and Druze women. A study conducted in 1996, reveals a negative correlation between the fertility rate and years of education among Arab women, and a positive correlation between the number of years between each birth and the level of education. In addition, the study reveales that the fertility rate among village women is higher than that of city women. Arab women of Jerusalem were found to be exceptional in terms of this correlation, and their fertility rates were significantly higher than the fertility rates in other Arab cities.


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* This document has not been edited.



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