International Women's Day: Israel is a long stride from equality
The statistics released by the social welfare organization present a staggering difference between men and women in numerous realms.
By TAMAR BEERI
MARCH 8, 2020 09:28
Women take part in a 'Day Without a Woman' march on International Women's Day in New York, U.S., March 8, 2017
(photo credit: REUTERS/LUCAS JACKSON)
Women in Israel earn an average of 32% less than men, according to a yearly “Glass Ceiling Index” released by the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) Israel for International Women’s Day.
In the independent work sector, women earn 29% less than men, while among those with higher education, the difference is a staggering 39%. In the public realm, women in health services earn 27% less than men, 24% less in the security systems, 17% in government facilities, and 7% in the education system.
The statistics in the study present a vast difference between men and women in the work force and numerous other realms.
For example, only one of the nine universities in Israel has a female president despite women making up a majority of the academic faculty: 58% in bachelor’s degree programs, 63% in master’s and 53% in PhD studies.
Women additionally invest more time in the care for the household and children than their male counterparts: 58%, to be exact. In contrast, only 14% of CEOs in Israel are women.
The last year saw a discomforting number of women being murdered in cases of domestic abuse. Michal Sela, who was murdered by her husband Eliran Malul in the presence of their eight-month-old daughter, was given particular attention as her husband claimed it was an attempted double suicide, despite evidence showing otherwise. He was also accused of abusing previous partners.
Maria Tal was also allegedly murdered by her husband, Maxim Tal, in their Kiryat Bialik home, where she was found covered in stab wounds. Maxim claimed that Maria had killed herself and that he had attempted to stop her from doing so.
“Budgeting to fight violence against women” should be a “top priority” of the government, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said at a cabinet meeting in December on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Thousands of protesters took to the streets that day to rally against what they called “social terrorism.”
International Women’s Day is celebrated every March 8, and in 2020 the theme is #EachforEqual, meaning that each individual is responsible for creating a gender equal world.
“Despite significant achievements in recent years, there are still unimaginable gaps between women and men in key areas of life,” said Anita Friedman, chairwoman of WIZO International. “In some fields, women’s conditions have regressed. The distribution of public resources must be equal and reflect the proportion of women in the population, which stands at 51%.”
There have nevertheless been improvements in the conditions for women in Israel. In November, the IDF promoted its first female officer to the rank of artillery corps battalion commander. She was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and deployed with the battalion to the Golan Heights.
In addition, a woman was elected to be the mayor of one of Israel’s three biggest cities in the last municipal elections. Einat Klisch-Rotem is currently serving as the mayor of Haifa.
International Women’s Day is just one fraction of Women’s History Month, taking place throughout March, which is celebrated throughout the world.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, for example, will be hosting numerous events, in particular one that honors “Heroines of the Holocaust” on March 11. The event is a talk which focuses on female resistance fighters of the Holocaust. Rachel Rachama Roth, a Holocaust survivor, will be attending and giving her eyewitness testimony to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
“March provides an occasion for us to focus on remarkable heroism and inspiring stories of resilience,” said Jack Kliger, Museum president and CEO. “We look forward to honoring the experiences of women during the Holocaust and to learning from the impressive scholarship of the women who will be presenting their work at these events.”
In honor of Women’s History Month and to celebrate the organization’s 100th birthday, WIZO Israel will be taking over Tel Aviv’s King David Boulevard on March 23 with numerous activities taking place along the street, including stand-up comedy, musical performances, art exhibits, and self defense workshops.
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