Wednesday, March 09, 2011

International Wormen's Day - We Could Be Doing A Lot Better!

Hannah Katsman brought a few quotes from  an interview with Tzipi Hotovely in HaAretz over at A Mother in Israel along with a reaction by Elana Stzockman
The interview is the of the genre we've been seeing for the past few days leading up ti Internation Women's Day. You know, that day when at work they give you a rose and the  the newspapers and radio (probably TV too) are busy hurling statistics at us. So we've heard this week that over more than a century of  Zionist civilization women in Israel are living longer than men but earning less (here). It's painfully obvious that although women have had the vote from just about the start of the Zionist movement there are still only 23 women in our 120 member Knesset. And on the managerial fron: of 4,820 positions on corporate directorates in Israel 590 are women (more statistics here in Hebrew).
So, Ha'Aretz asks the 32 year old Rehovot resident Knesset member Tzipi Hotovely if she has come up against a glass ceiling. Well, they may have found the one of the very few women around who hasn't (yet) hit the glass ceiling. The young legislator also says that when she has a family of her own it will be necessary to set different priorities where her career is concerned. This really enrages Stzockman who calls Hotovely naive and condescending and ignores a lot of important bills she and others have introduced to ensure quality daycare and more reasonable maternity benefits. I would send her over to read Avirama Golan's brilliant description of a 33 year old pregnant woman getting ready to join the ranks of those "combining a career and family" in Israel:
"This nasty phrase is the front for an entire system of social codes, all of which demand the young woman be an exemplary mother who will nurse her baby, take him to all the developmental groups, and swimming and yoga classes; that she be an excellent cook and a sweet wife; but also that she keep her trim figure by taking exercise classes, and give off an aura of sexiness (but not too much, of course ) and charm - and all of this without losing the momentum of her success at work." 
and concludes 
"Instead of a holiday, could we perhaps just have a little rest?" 
 We have a long way to go. We need to make it possible for women with young children to work outside their homes and earn more than it costs to keep their children in daycare. We need to recognize that professions like teaching and social work deserve compensation that equals hi-tech, advertising and engineering, and that keeping society educated and stable is at least as important as keeping the electricity flowing.


Batya said...

great points, Risa. I never planned on working and never took my work and income seriously. It was a big mistake.
Good childcare is so expensive it hardly pays for many women to work.

mother in israel said...

That's a good quote by Golan.
I wonder if mothers are discriminated against,compared to single women. Single women may be seen as good employees.

Risa said...

Exactly the point. My social worker daughter-in-law put off working after graduation and when she did finally take a job it was a 1/3 of a full time. It was 3 mornings a week. She had one kid in a private kindergarten and the baby at a baby sitter 2 days a week and one day a week at a friend who was also working and had a baby. On the 4th day she took care of the friend's baby (saving the baby sitter rate). So she worked 3 mornings as a social worked, one as a baby sitter and broke even! Did it 'pay' to work? Only in the sense that she wanted to get out and do what she had spent 4 years studying (while giving birth to 2 kids.)

I think single women may be a bit favored in hiring but there are other factors working against them as well. It's a challenge.

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