When examining the Middle East in any country an interesting subject that generally occurs is the rights of women. Throughout some countries in the Middle East many women are continuing to fight for their rights, while some already have rights that are just in need of clarification. It is important to look into the case of women’s rights in each country especially when comparing it to the United States. The United States is thought to have fair and equal rights for women, although some may argue salary differences, in general women maintain very equal rights to that of men in the US.
Women of Israel in particular to the examination of the Middle East have a vast amount of rights. They are required to be in the military such as the men are for a minimum of two years. In the military they contain some of the highest held positions. Even this is something that is not seen in the US. Generally, women in the US are not able to contain high-ranking offices in certain military fields due to various reasons.
Yet according to the New Israel Fund in Israel, “social institutions, traditions and religious laws have kept girls and women at a disadvantage in schools, in the workplace, in divorce cases, and as victims of violence.”
As stated earlier another important factor of the women is Israel compared to that of the US is the salary problem. Women in Israel make up nearly fifty percent of the work force, but are only paid sixty-two cents of what a man makes on the dollar. Nearly seventy percent of Israeli women are paid under minimum wage as well. In the US women make only seventy-seven cents on the male dollar. So why is it then in a country where social institutions, traditions, and religious laws don’t effect women as much as compared to those of Israel, are women still subjected to this in both countries?
Some experts siding with this view have said that in both countries there are many reasons, including education and what occupation women choose. However, studies have also noted that even when women have selected occupations that are categorized under “women occupations” such as a secretary, a woman still would only make eight-six percent of what a man would make as a secretary. Is Israel, a female teacher only makes fifty-three percent of what her male co-worker makes. In the United States a female teacher makes eighty-eight percent of what her male co-worker makes.
In Israel there may be other answers according to some experts. According to the Israeli Women’s Council women in Israel are under an Orthodox religion in which the male generally can receive much control. This goes beyond money, often into marriages, divorces, personal statuses. Women in minorities in Israel are often at the worse end of this as well. Women in these categories are often times unemployed and can lack the basic needs of helping their families. However, when women do receive employment many cannot argue the need for equal pay because they are fortunate enough to be receiving a job at all in some situations.
The real question when looking at these statistics is why even in a powerful country are the lines between women and men in the work place so drawn apart? In Israel it is stated women’s rights may not be as bolded and defined as they are in the US, but even the US where they are women are still faced with the same issue as Israeli women. These statistics show that women around the world are all fighting similar battles. Often it is difficult for American women to think they can relate to the struggles that women from other places such as Israel face. Yes, the US may have higher percentages, but why in a country where equality is so emphasized is there even an issue anymore over this? If a country that is trying to evolve their women’s rights is struggling with this problem maybe it is time for the US to try and set an example.
There is a different view in Israel. Not all women feel as if their rights are not met. In fact some feel that the country and their government have been great supporters of women’s rights. Some women even claim they feel that opportunity is Israel is better there than anywhere else is the world. The video below show a gathering to enable women and show the world that women are equal in Israel. The gathering was put on by The World Zionist Organization. In the video is is clear that some women do feel that Israel offering them opportunities of equality which may out rule the salary issue.