Palestine News Network
March 8, 2013 - 1:00am

The estimated population of Palestine at the end of 2012 was 4.35 million of whom 2.21 million were males and 2.14 million females. Males comprise 50.8 percent of the total population compared to 49.2 percent for females. In other words, for every 100 persons there were 49 females, a sex ratio of 103.2, said Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) Thursday on the occasion of International Woman's Day, Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported.

PCBS said more than half of females aged 15 years and above are married; six out of every 10 females aged 15 years and above were married, while three women out of 10 were never married. In addition, 5.8 percent were widowed, 1.5 percent divorced, 2.2 percent engaged for the first time, and 0.2 percent were separated.

The statistics showed that violence against women remained in existence; according to women's centre for legal aid counseling, 13 women were killed in Palestine in 2012 for different reasons.

While in the case of women and poverty; the proportion of poor families headed by a female is higher in the Gaza Strip at 29.7 percent compared to 22.5 percent in the West Bank.

However, a decline in illiteracy among women was shown; literacy among females was three and a half times higher than among males: illiteracy among males was 1.8 percent compared to 6.4 percent among females in 2012. Illiteracy rates for females were 15.3 percent in 2001. While the percentage of women with a (associated) diploma and above was 16.4 percent in 2012.

In addition, female participation in labor force remained limited; despite the rise in female employment in the labor force over the past ten years, the female participation rate remained low at 17.4 percent of females in the labor force in 2012 compared to 10.3 percent in 2001.

The male labor force participation rate was still around four times higher than that of females.

There was a gap in the average daily wages of men and women: the average daily wage for women represented 86.8 percent of that of men's in 2012.

Moreover, a higher rate of unemployment among women was unveiled; female's participation in the labor force was considered important for sustainable development, yet the female unemployment rate increased to 32.9 percent in 2012 compared to 13.8 percent in 2001. The unemployment rate was the highest among women with 13 years of schooling, at 44.6 percent in 2012.

And in regard of the agricultural sector, statistics showed that in 2009-2010, 7.9 percent of plant agricultural holdings were held by women compared to 92.1 percent were held by males. In addition, 7.6 percent of animal agricultural holdings were held by women while 92.4 percent were held by males.

In the public workers sector, statistics showed that males witnessed corruption more than females; 39.4 percent of governmental female workers in the West Bank were subjected to or witnessed an act of corruption ("wasta", bribery and others) during 2008-2009 compared to 54.1 percent of males over the same period.

In the health sector, the statistics said that out of registered physicians, 14.3 percent were females and 85.7 percent males. The percentage of females registered physicians was higher in the West Bank (17.8 percent) than in Gaza Strip (10.9 percent).

More than one quarter of registered dentists were females and 72.8 percent were males in 2011. The percentage of females registered dentists was higher in the West Bank (28.0 percent) than in Gaza Strip (25.0 percent).

Just over half (52.0 percent) of registered nurses were females and 48.0 percent males in 2011. The percentage of female nurses was higher in the West Bank (62.0 percent) than in Gaza Strip (44.2 percent).

About women in public life, the PCBS statistics added that out of local council members, 20.7 percent were females compared to 79.3 percent male in the West Bank. In 2012, the highest participation rate for women in local councils was in Ramallah and Al-Bireh governorate with 18.9 percent while the lowest was in Jericho and Al-Aghwar governorate with 2.3 percent in 2012.

Also, 4.3 percent of ambassadors were females compared to 95.7 of males and 17.1 percent of journalists were females compared to 82.9 percent of males in 2011.

In the public sector, 40.6 percent of employees were females in 2012 compared to 59.4 percent of males.


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