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The defense budget.

In this era of fiscal restraint, in which the government is permitted to increase spending by no more than 1.7% a year, every addition to the defense budget means a reduction in social service budgets.

Prior to the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising, in October 2000, the trend was to reduce the defense budget. The outbreak of hostilities led to a sharp increase in defense spending. In 2005, with the waning of hostilities, the defense budget registered a decrease. However, in 2006, following the Second Lebanon War, the Defense Ministry requested a large increase in its budget. The government responded by appointing a commission to examine the request. The resulting recommendation: over the next ten years, to increase the defense budget by the accumulated sum of NIS 46 billion--an average of NIS 4.6 billion per year.

Due to this recommendation, subsequently approved by the government, it appears that during the next ten years, the annual increase in the defense budget is to account for a sizable proportion of the total annual increase in government spending.

Now, it is customary to think that the defense budget benefits everyone in equal measure. However, a gender-sensitive analysis reveals that in addition to serving to defend the country against external threats, the defense budget serves to finance the salaries of the standing army. And when the standing army is examined from a gender perspective, we find that women constitute but a small minority: in 2005, 18%. Women constitute 26% of the officer corps, in which there is a glass ceiling at the rank of major: Women constitute no more than 10.5% of lieutenant colonels and only 4.4% of colonels (Shahar, 2006: 394,397). It should be added that Arab women and Mizrahi Jewish women do not become commissioned officers. Arab women do not serve in the armed forces at all.
Increase in the Defense Budget
as a Proportion of the Increase in Total Government Spending, 2008-2017
Based on the Recommendations of the Commission
Basis is the 2007 Budget

Year % increase
 over previous
 year

2008 38%
2009 31%
2010 25%
2011 20%
2012 18%
2013 16%
2014 15%
2015 15%
2016 14%
2017 14%

Source: Adva analysis of State of Israel, Report of the Commission to
Examine the Defense Budget, May 2007.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Adva Center
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:defense expenditures and women in the labor force and armed forces
Author:Swirski, Barbara
Publication:Gender
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Dec 1, 2007
Words:382
Previous Article:Introduction.
Next Article:Social service budgets.
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