Haredi women in high-tech (illustration)
Haredi women in high-tech (illustration)Photo: Abir Sultan, Flash 90

The Knesset held a special discussion on Sunday regarding the meager wages and discriminatory treatment of employed haredi women as compared to other non-haredi workers.

This discussion came following extensive research done on the topic which caused MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) to submit an urgent request to the Minister of Economy, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in which he wondered why Netanyahu does not intervene.

"Wage disparities among haredi women exist in many areas, and are especially prominent in the high-tech industry where workers in Herzliya earn twice as much as workers employed in haredi cities in spite of [the haredi women] having the same level of education, experience, and a strong work ethic, and a similar level of dedication and excellence by any measure," said MK Maklev.

He continued, “There are companies established for the sole purpose of getting rich at the expense of haredi women, who are employed at low wages, and all under the guise of allowing them the ability to work in a suitable environment for optimized productivity. But in reality they discriminate and exploit these workers. The current situation is only getting worse and we must eradicate it as soon as possible.”

In response to Maklev, MK Yariv Levin (Likud) replied on behalf of the Minister of Economy saying, “The rate of haredi women's employment has significantly increased in recent years; with that, we have encountered negative phenomena such as low wages, employment troubles, and more. The Ministry of Economy is working to improve employment conditions aimed at eradicating discrimination and safeguarding the rights of workers in general, including of course, those of haredi women.”

“Haredi women's contribution to the Israeli economy is very welcome and this issue will certainly be addressed by the Ministry of Economy to handle any case where the attitude [to these workers] is not fitting and proper, as required," said Levin.

At the conclusion of the discussion, the Knesset plenum approved the transfer of an expanded discussion to the Knesset Finance Committee to take place soon.