RAMALLAH, March 8 (JMCC) - Palestinian women's labor force participation is the lowest in the region, says the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
Palestinian women aged 15 and over participated in the Palestinian economy at a rate of 15.5% in 2009, said the PCBS in a special release on the occasion of International Women's Day. That compared with a male labor force participation rate of 67% the same year.
Women's participation in the Middle East as a whole is at 26%, putting Palestinian women's participation at a relatively low rate.
Most women - 34% - work in the education sector, while just over 20% work in agriculture, foresting, hunting and fishing. Health workers make up 9.4% of women laborers.
Statistics show a rise in the percentage of females enrolled in secondary school, while male participation in elementary school continues to outstrip that of girls.
The bureau also noted that women are occupying significant positions in Palestinian politics, with five women serving as ministers in the 22-member cabinet.
Other firsts include women being appointed for the first time as the governor of Ramallah governorate, heading up the Palestine Stock Market, and serving in the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.