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Narrative of a Worker: Havatzelet Ingbar and the Atzmaout Textile Factory Mitzpe Ramon, Israel, 2000

Authors

  • Henriette Dahan-Kalev

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Gender Studies, Beersheva, Ben Gurion University Israel
      Department of Gender Studies, Beersheva, Ben Gurion University Israel, 84105, e-mail: henms@bgu.ac.il
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Department of Gender Studies, Beersheva, Ben Gurion University Israel, 84105, e-mail: henms@bgu.ac.il

Abstract

This article is about the struggle of a group of marginalized women who stood up for their rights, providing a dramatic lesson of courage and self-empowerment. These women, who were workers in a textile factory in the remote town of Mitzpe Ramon in Israel, became its managers and owners. This article documents their groundbreaking experience and investigates some of the problems that arose during this period. The conclusion of this research is that the main knowledge and experience that is required from workers who become managers overnight is political rather than professional, economic or commercial. Moreover, the women learned that political knowledge cannot be replaced by accelerated courses in management, marketing and business administration. Finally, the women realized that the men with whom they interacted desired to see them return to the sewing machines as unprofessional workers, in traditional female roles.

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