On the eve of International Women’s Day, the statistics bureau highlights reality of Palestinian women

Marking International Women’s Day, which coincides on March 8 of every year, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report published today that women represent half of the Palestinian society.


The number of females in Palestine reached 2.70 million females out of the total estimated population in mid-2023, with a percentage of about 49%, whereas the sex ratio reached 103.3; meaning that there are 103 males for every 100 females, said the PCBS. Women headed about 12% of households in Palestine (12% in the West Bank and 11% in the Gaza Strip in 2022).


It said that 172 women were detained by the Israeli occupation forces in 2022, whereas 129 of them were from Jerusalem Governorate. While 29 women are still in Israeli prisons until the end of 2022, two among them are minors and two detainees are held under administrative detention without charge or trial. Also, 18 women were killed by Israeli army gunfire in 2022, and one woman was killed this year.


The report said there is a decrease in marriage percentages for both males and females under the age of 18, where it reached 11.5% of the females registered marriages in 2021 out of the total number of females registered marriages in the same year, while this percentage was about 24% in 2010. The percentage was less than 0.5% of males registered marriages out of the total number of males registered marriages in the same year, compared to about 2% in 2010.


The median age at first marriage in Palestine was about 26 years for males and 21 years for females in 2021.


Data for the scholastic year 2021/2022 showed that the participation rate in formal education (one year before enrolling in the official elementary stage) in Palestine is approximately 73% (68% among males, and 78% among females).


Data for 2022 showed that the percentages of completion of different educational levels (lower and upper secondary education) were in favor of females reaching about 97% and 78%, respectively, while the percentages were 90% and 53% for males respectively. However, the percentages are equal between males and females for primary education completion rates, where they were 99% in the same year.


As for the percentage of female students enrolled in Palestinian higher education institutions, it reached 62% out of the total number of students enrolled in higher education institutions in 2021-2022, of whom about 10% are enrolled in the ICT major, (59% among males, and 41% among females), and about 3% are enrolled in natural sciences, mathematics and statistics (28% among males, and 72% among females).


Women’s participation rate in the labor force increased in 2022 compared to 2021, where it reached about 19% of the total number of women at work age in 2022. Notably, this percentage was 17% in 2021, knowing that the rate of men’s participation in the labor force reached 71% in 2022, compared to 69% in 2021.


On the other hand, the unemployment rate among women participating in the labor force was about 40% compared to 20% among men in 2022. The unemployment rate among the youth (19–29 years) graduates of those who hold an intermediate diploma and higher reached 48% (61.3% among females compared with 34% among males).


About 40% of wage employees in the private sector earn a monthly wage less than the minimum average wage of 1,880 Israeli shekels ($525), as the percentage was 38% for men, compared to 50% for women. Moreover, 40% of female employees hired in the private sector work without an employment contract, and 44% of them receive a contribution in financing retirement/end of the service package. On the other hand, 46% of female employees in the private sector received paid maternity leave in 2022.


According to the General Personnel Department data up to February 2023, the percentage of women’s participation in the public sector reached about 48% of the total employees in the public sector. The gap is significant in the percentage of those who hold the rank of director general and higher, where this percentage reached 14% among women compared to 86% among men.


The percentage of women elected and appointed in the 2021-2022 local elections was 21%, compared to 79% among men. Also, the participation of women in decision-making positions is still limited compared to men’s participation, as data for 2021 showed that women constitute about 23% of the members of the Central Council, 19% of the members of the Palestinian National Council, and 12% of members of the Council of Ministers are women.


Moreover, there is only one woman who holds the position of governor out of 15 governors, and 1% of the heads of local councils in Palestine are women. As for the Board of Directors of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, the percentage of men reached 99%, compared to only 1% of women, about 19% of judges are women, and the percentage of female prosecutors is 18%.


In 2022, about 72% of females (10 years and above) in Palestine owned a smartphone compared to 74% of males, while 88% of females (10 years and above) in Palestine used the internet compared to 89% of males.


Within this context, the data of the Report of the Digital Reality in Palestine for 2022 indicated that the prevalence rate of social media in Palestine was about 66%, whereas the percentage of using social media by sex was 51% among males and 49% among females.


About 10% of women, even married, (15-64 years) in Palestine were exposed to some form of cyber violence through social media networks. Also, 8% of women were exposed to violence through telecommunication (any threatening, blackmailing, or harassing different people or parties through calls or messages).


About 12% of females (18-64 years) who are not married were exposed to some form of cyber violence through social media networks and 8% of females were also exposed to violence through telecommunication (any threatening, blackmailing, or harassing different people or parties through calls or messages).


Source: Palestine News & Information Agency

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