An overwhelming majority of the religious sector believes that members of the national religious community uphold family values better than the general public (96%), invests more in children's education than the general public (91%), and is more moral than the general public (74%).
These figures were gathered by a poll conducted for the national religious women's organization, Emunah, in order to understand the prevailing stances within the national religious sector on women's status and occupation, religious family values, and separation between the sexes.
The study was conducted ahead of a convention to be held in the Knesset Wednesday in honor of International Women's Day.
The poll also found that a large majority of national religious people (81%) support what seems to be a growing phenomenon of women in the sector foregoing career development, quitting their job, or decreasing the number of hours spent at work in order to invest more time in raising children.
On this subject, there was a significant gap between the respondents who defined themselves as national religious and those who defined themselves as national haredim. However, a decisive majority supports religious women's involvement in the field of art and creativity.
Most of those asked said they believe the religious public ensures the status of women to the same extent as the general public (59%).
A majority of the respondents support separation between the sexes, be it in youth group activities or in communal recreational activities. On this issue, there also was a gap between the stance represented by the national religious public and the national haredi public.
The study also revealed that a vast majority of respondents prefer that religious families live in mixed secular-religious neighborhoods and towns without segregating themselves from the general public.
A vast majority of the religious public (83%) is opposed to full equality between men and women in religious functions within the family, such as making Kiddush, blessing the challah, etc.
Emunah Chairperson Liora Minka said that from her perspective, the most poignant issue raised by the poll's results is the fact that many religious women are torn between two worlds – between career and family – and choosing between them has become a complex task.
According to Minka, "We encouraged them and made it possible for them to go to work, to become a professional, and to stand out in various fields. However, it seems as though the State has yet to successfully provide them with the necessary optimal conditions to devote themselves to their job alongside family and raising children."
Minka also emphasized her concern over the growing gap within the religious camp between the national religious and the national haredim.
She also noted that a source for optimism can be seen in the fact that religious youth seem to be more supportive of women's equality than the older respondents, according to an age breakdown of the survey.