With God on their Side: Gender–Religiosity Intersectionality and Women’s Workforce Integration

Michal Frenkel, Varda Wasserman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On the basis of a case study of the integration of Haredi Jewish women into the Israeli high-tech industry, we explore how gender–religiosity intersectionality affects ultra-conservative women’s participation in the labor market and their ability to negotiate with employers for corporate work–family practices that address their idiosyncratic requirements. We highlight the importance of pious women’s affiliation to their highly organized religious communities while taking a process-centered approach to intersectionality and focusing on the matrix of domination formed by the Israeli state, employers, and the organized ultra-orthodox community. We dub this set of actors “the unholy-trinity” and argue that it constructs a specific, religion-centric inequality regime that restrains women’s job and earning opportunities. At the same time, the “unholy trinity” also empowers women in their struggle to create a working environment that is receptive to their religiosity and what that commitment demands of them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-843
Number of pages26
JournalGender and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this study was provided by the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, grant no. 3-14726. The authors thank the Haredi women who shared their experience with us and Aziza Khazzoom, Michele Rivkin-Fish, the five anonymous reviewers, and the editor for extremely helpful comments and suggestions.


  • agency
  • intersectionality
  • organizational practices
  • power
  • religious women
  • work–family


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