Weekend Seminar - Initiatives and solutions to unemployment among Druze women in Israel

The Jerusalem office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty in collaboration with its partner, the Forum for Liberal Thinking, conducted a weekend seminar at the end of February 2017, which was aimed at the Druze sector and tackled the deplorable phenomenon of unemployment among Druze woman in Israel.

Among the lectures was Dr. Ramzi Halabi, chairman of ‘Tsofen’, an Israeli nonprofit organization with the mission of increasing the presence of Israeli Arabs in Israel’s tech sector, who emphasized the need to open the Tech industry for Druze women. Dr. Halabi said that a growing stake of Arab women in the start-up nation will not only help them and their families, but will also fill a drastic shortfall of engineers in Israel.

Dr. Rabiaa Basis from the Emek Yisrael College, stressed that only 30% of Druze woman is working – most of the highly educated women are involved in education and only few of them are engaged in High-Tech fields. One of the reasons for that is the fact that Druze women deal with obstacles such as cultural and social restraints, lack of day care centers to take care of young children and big differences in wages between Jewish and Druze working woman.  In order to improve the situation Dr. Basis gave a number of recommendations to the participants. She urged the women to direct their studies to useful professions, to promote the creation of jobs in the villages, to demand for extended public transport connecting their villages with commercial centers and bigger towns, to create more day care centers for young children in the villages, to promote driving licenses among Druze women and to press for opening high working positions in all fields for Druze women.

Next to lectures the seminar also included a discussion panel with Druze women who managed to reach high positions in the labor market. They shared their experiences with the challenges on their way to the top and gave practical advice to the participants.