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Israel

  • By: Sharon D. Lang
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In Israel, a small country of 8,367 square miles, motherhood is socially venerated and women are strongly connected to the State through their role as mothers. Because of the unique circumstances of Israel as a Jewish homeland established after the Holocaust, as well as the Jewish emphasis on family and procreation, the Israeli government from the beginning has made support of women and children a priority. Reproduction is celebrated as a woman's “natural” and “national mission.” It is normative for women to want children, and strong maternal attachment is considered instinctive. Beyond social pressures on women to reproduce, pronatal policies are expressed in laws and regulations regarding new reproductive technologies and abortion. Pro-family polices, including family allowances, maternity cash benefits and leaves, child tax benefits, ...

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