Invisible Work in Israel

Edited by
Amit Kaplan, Maha Karkabi Sabah
Publisher Van Leer Institute Press
Language Hebrew
Year of Publication 2017
Series Publications of the Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere (WIPS)

The research project Invisible Work in Israel was conducted during 2016-2017 with the support of a research grant from the National Insurance Institute of Israel.

As this research shows, Invisible Work includes household duties in the private sphere, voluntary work in the public sphere, and emotional and care work conducted in both the public and the private spheres, but it is neither defined nor recognized as labor and is not compensated as such. Invisible Work is a covert, but powerful, sociocultural mechanism that maintains gender inequality and the hierarchical relations between the public and private spheres. Including Invisible Work in the social agenda requires a renewed evaluation of the reduced value attached to the work of care-giving, support, and education and of the structure of the labor market and women’s place in it.

In the current social and economic reality of dual-income households, it is crucial to understand how unpaid (invisible) work is conceptualized and performed. The research report Invisible Work in Israel makes three contributions: First, it provides visibility to invisible, and unpaid, work, performed mostly by women, and puts it on the research and social agenda. Second, it presents a deep and sensitive understanding of how women conceptualize and interpret this work. Third, it develops a tool for measuring Invisible Work performed by many women, including women defined by law as “housewives,” and thus it promotes recognition of Invisible Work as the basis for social benefits.

The project's Academic Committee included Prof. Hanna Herzog, Prof. Naomi Chazan; Principal Investigator: Dr. Amit Kaplan; Chief Researcher: Dr. Maha Karkabi Sabah. The Research Team included Shimrit Slonim, Hadass Ben Eliyahu and Ronna Brayer-Garb.

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