Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics: Palestinian women’s participation in the workforce is still limited

March 8, 2012: Ahead of International Women’s Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics published a number of figures on the status of Palestinian women in the occupied Palestinian territory. We highlight some particularly interesting statistics:

Women account for almost half the Palestinian population – of 4.2 million people living in the occupied Palestinian territory, 2.2 million are male and 2 million are female.

Palestinian women in public life – Women accounted for 7.8% of the legislative council in 2010. The percentage of women who are members of the legislative council in Gaza is higher than it is in the West Bank. 11.3% of judges are women. The percentage of female judges in the West Bank and Gaza is 12% and 10% respectively. Only 10% of newspaper editors in the occupied Palestinian territory are women.

Women’s participation in the workforce is still limited – Despite the increase in the rate of women’s participation in the workforce over the last ten years (16.6% in 2011, compared to 10.3% in 2001), men’s participation in the workforce is still four times higher than women’s. In addition, in 2011, the average daily salary earned by women was 84% of the average salary earned by men.

In 2011, the unemployment rate among women was 28.4%, compared to 13.8% in 2001. The highest rate of unemployment for 2011 (38.8%) was among women who had completed 13 years of education.

Violence against women – 37% percent of married women were exposed to some degree of violence on the part of their spouses in 2011. The highest rate of violence by married men against their spouses was recorded in the Gaza governate – 58.1% and the lowest in Rafah – 23.1%.