Based on a sample of 319 Israeli women belonging to the ultraorthodox Jewish community, this study examined factors that facilitate and inhibit the development of employment hardiness. The term employment hardiness refers to one aspect of me as a worker and reflects a self-perception characterized by three distinguishing components, that is, openness to change at work, employment self-efficacy, and work commitment. Facilitators of employment hardiness were manifested in the women’s personal and environmental resources as well as in their work-promoting attitudes (egalitarian gender-role ideology and work centrality). Conversely, the inhibitors were manifested in the participants’ experience of daily stress. Openness to change at work and employment self-efficacy were explained primarily by workplace support and by personal resources as reflected in psychological and community empowerment, whereas work commitment was explained primarily by work-promoting attitudes as well as by the experience of daily stress. Practical recommendations are presented for organizations employing ultraorthodox women as well as for employment counselors, which aim to enhance employment hardiness among traditional women in communities undergoing modernization.
This study seeks to gain insight into a unique group, ultraorthodox women in Israel, and their views and attitudes on driving and road experiences. Ultraorthodox women are generally contending with spatial and mobility restrictions due to stringent gendered spaces and social norms in their communities. Specifically in Israel, throughout the ultraorthodox sector, women are strictly forbidden to drive. In this research, we put the emphasis on driving dilemmas that have received marginal attention both socially and empirically. A qualitative method was used, based on face-to-face in-depth interviews, with women from three major ultraorthodox communities. The findings reveal that the driving ban for ultraorthodox women in Israel generates ambivalence and conflict, and exacts a heavy social price. Moreover, in line with approaches of feminist geography, it raises issues of gender relations and cultural implications, such as restricting the space and the mobility of women in order to keep them in a subordinate position. The results are discussed in terms of gender roles, cultural exclusion, and spatiality, on both the practical and emotional levels. The study opens a window to a unique sector of the Israeli population, revealing unique dilemmas with which ultraorthodox women grapple daily in their community.