As of 2017, only 10% of the workers in government ministries are Arab citizens, although the proportion of Arabs in the population is nearly 20%. In senior positions in the civil service, the proportion of jobs held by Arabs is even lower, in the single digits. The proportion of all civil service jobs held by Arab women is only about 4%. These figures depict the exclusion of Arab citizens from fair participation in decision making and policy making, and highlight the deeply unequal economic and political circumstances of Arab citizens in Israel.
Our aspiration is that Arab citizens, as members of an indigenous national minority in the country, will have an appropriate and fair share of civil service employment, both quantitatively and qualitatively. We work with government ministries in various ways to promote policies and actions that will actualize this aim. These efforts include working to advance the implementation of an updated government decision that would set the new target for Arab employment at 20% of public service employees, with compulsory interim targets. The percentages we are advocating for through the year 2022, as interim targets, are:
- Among employees of all government ministries and affiliated agencies, the overall average proportion of civil service workers from the Arab community will be at least 15%.
- In each government ministry and affiliated agency, the proportion of workers from the Arab community will be no less than 10% of its employees.
- Among all government ministries and affiliated agencies, the proportion of Arab women employees will be no less than 8%.
- Among senior-echelon professionals at all government ministries and affiliated agencies, the proportion of those from the Arab community will be at least 10%.
- With attainment of the interim target, a schedule will be set for meeting the final target, which is that the proportion of civil servants who are Arabs will be 20% of all employees of government ministries and affiliates.
To advance this change in policy, we are producing and circulating well-crafted position papers, meeting with the professional echelons at government ministries, attending Knesset committee sessions and participating in their deliberations, and publishing opinion pieces in the media. Additionally, to more closely oversee the progress toward fair representation targets, we are promoting transparency for data and information relating to fair representation of Arab citizens in every government ministry and affiliate, through publication of comprehensive annual reports. The first success in this realm was achieved in our work with the Ministry of Justice, which in December 2015 began publishing our report. The most recent one may be read online here http://bit.ly/2i8iAbe (Hebrew only).
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