Palestinian women are acknowledged as one of the poorest, least paid and least educated population groups in Israel. The unemployment rate among Arab women actively seeking employment remains a striking 11%; furthermore, less than one third of Palestinian women even participate in the labor force (compared to 58% of Jewish women).
Arab women often do not take their own needs into proper consideration when making economic decisions for themselves and their families. Many perceive economics and financial planning as male domains and maintain a passive approach toward these issues. Most Palestinian women in Israel do not have pensions or adequate savings; they face futures of economic hardship, personal insecurity and retirement-age poverty.
Since 2007, Kayan has worked to empower Palestinian women in Israel to become actively involved in matters of personal economic preparedness and security through our "Active Approach to Personal Economy" initiative. Through this program, Kayan strives to engender a sense of place and personal responsibility for financial management and preparedness among Arab women in Israel, challenge women's attitudes on work outside of the home and foster awareness of the importance of savings to long-term personal economic security.
This program helps to increase women's knowledge of their economic, social and cultural rights, poverty, gender-responsive public budgeting and requisites of social change. We also educate women about pension laws, financial precautions (public and private), allocations from the National Insurance Institute, employment laws, and taxation. Furthermore, we lend practical tools that improve women's skills in handling issues of personal economy, including applying for allocations and tax deductions, taking financial precautions, managing budgets and filing a tax return.
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