This is a very interesting and well-done article about the difficulties women in Israel face trying to find time and space to work out in a culture which does not support women's physical development--especially when it gets in the way of their duties to family and community.
We can see some similarities in the obstacles American women face when they want to be active: carving out time during the day between household, community, and occupational duties. But there are sooe obvious differences as well: many American gyms have daycare; a fit female body is a status symbol in our culture and thus encouraged for certain women; and we often don't have the same community obligations--to entertain when a neighbor pops in, for example. [So few neighbors are popping in on one another these days.]
An additional problem with the concept of Israeli women working out is the need to do so in sex segregated facilities. The article actually focuses on the one facility, The Eden Club, in a northern Israeli town of 33,000 where women can partake in physical fitness activities. Other cities have community centers that offer women aerobics classes and other individual and group activities.
One similarity between the Arab and American exercise culture for women: women who exercise (walk, run, bike, etc.) on city streets are subject to harassment. Disparaging remarks toward women exercising in public seem to transcend cultures. The other day friends of mine were cursed at by a guy in a truck while they were biking. Almost any woman who runs outdoors on a regular basis has stories of being whistled at, yelled at, and even forced off the road by vehicles. Not exactly a sign of American enlightenment about women and physicality.