Gender employment contradictions in Israeli nonprofit organizations providing social care

Inbar Livnat, Michal Almog-Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This article asks how gender, ethnicity and other identities intersect and shape the employment experiences of social workers. During recent decades, governments have contracted social care to for-profit and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) globally as a part of the adaption of the neoliberal approach. Most employees in these organizations are women. However, there is a lack of knowledge about women working in social service NPOs and their unique working environments. Design/methodology/approach: This article explores the experiences of women employed as social workers in social care NPOs in Israel regarding intersectionality. 27 in-depth interviews were conducted with women social workers working in social service NPOs. Participants reflected diversity in ethnicity, religion and full-time and part-time jobs. Thematic analysis was used. Findings: The findings shed light on: (1) the contradiction social workers experienced between the stated values of the social care NPO and those values’ conduct, (2) intersectional discrimination among social workers from vulnerable populations and (3) the lack of gender-aware policies. Social implications: The need to raise awareness of the social care sector and governments to those contradictions and to promote diversity through gender-aware policies and practices. Originality/value: The article suggests a conceptualization describing gender employment contradictions in social care NPOs, discusses how the angle of intersectionality expands the understanding of the complexities and pressures exerted on social workers from minority groups and emphasizes the need for social care NPOs to acknowledge and deal with these contradictions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2024


  • Contracting out
  • Discrimination
  • Ethics
  • Gender policies
  • Intersectionality
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Social work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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