Israel is set to offer new opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups to make their way into the workforce, with the government opening up a new sector to women in a bid to increase women’s visibility and improve women’s economic security.
Under the plan, women would be able to apply for the coveted positions in the sector, including sales assistants, in a program designed to help them gain experience in the workplace and boost their salaries.
The government also plans to create an online application for women to join the workforce in the same way that men can apply.
The government’s announcement comes as the government prepares to expand a workforce that is largely concentrated in low-skilled jobs, such as the garment and construction trades, in an effort to improve economic security and create more jobs for the middle class.
The plan was announced Friday by Economy Minister Moshe Kahlon as part of a major effort to bring women into the workplace, and the government plans to invest $2.4 billion to make the sector a part of the economy.
“Israel is home to more than 150,000 women in the workforce and is committed to ensuring that we provide every woman the opportunity to make her own choices and be a part, as well as a partner, in the economic and social life of Israel,” Kahlon said.
“Women are more than just breadwinners or housewives, they are the future of Israel, and this plan will make sure that we are able to support them in this transition.”
The women-only sector will be funded by the government, with its aim being to encourage women to enter the workforce.
“The number of women working in the clothing industry has grown substantially over the past few years, as the demand for our products and services has increased,” Kahlon said.
“We are excited to welcome the participation of women, especially those from the underrepresented and marginalized communities, and to continue to strengthen our support for women in this sector.”
The number two position in the Israeli textile industry, in particular, has become a key point of contention in the country’s domestic politics, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for the government to increase the number of female managers and owners of textile factories.
The cabinet recently approved the creation of a new company to help women enter the industry and the department plans to offer women the position of head of the company, which will pay at least $1,500 per month, according to the government.
Women have been in the textile industry for more than 100 years and currently comprise about half of the total workforce.
According to Kahlon, the plan is a sign that Israel is finally taking action on its economic inequality issue.
“There is no question that we need to improve our equality in the economy and society, and for this reason, the government has decided to increase support for female entrepreneurship,” Kahlen said.