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Abstract

Recent social changes have intensified and created special problems and needs among women. However, social work schools have not included women's studies as part of the overall curriculum. This Israeli study examined the congruence of women's needs as perceived by women clients and as perceived by social workers, to see whether a specialized training program is needed. Fifty low-socioeconomic status women, women selected from the general population, and 16 social workers from the same community were presented with a list of 21 problem areas known to be pertinent to women. The group of 50 women equally represented homemakers, divorced, widowed, elderly and battered women. Half of this group received treatment by social workers. Results indicated an incongruence between the needs and problems as detailed by women and the ways social workers perceived their needs. It was found that social workers gave priority to family problems, whereas women gave priority to developing individual interests. The different groups form women were found to be similar in defining their need. and problems and ordering their priorities.

A comparison among the different subgroups of women, revealed the battered wives to suffer from the most severe problems and the homemakers to have the least.

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