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Israeli women are more educated than men, but still earn less

March 7, 2010. Haaretz: Dana Weiler-Polak

Israeli women are more educated than men, but earn less. Fewer women are employed in senior positions than men and the majority of those receiving income supplements are women, says a report examining the progress of women's rights in Israel over the past five years.

These are some of the findings of the Israel Women's Network's report for 2010, which will be submitted to the UN ahead of International Women's Day Monday.

"The report proves that women are still deprived in many areas of Israeli society," says IWN general manager Nurit Tsur. "This discrimination blocks women from succeeding and advancing both at work and in personal and family life.

Israeli society must enlist to fight the discriminatory practices raised by the report, and the government must set operative goals for the war on discrimination."

The report finds that teenage women do better than men in matriculation exams and university entry requirements.

Some 60 percent of female Jewish pupils pass their matriculation exams, compared to 49.4 percent of male pupils. In 2008, 55.8 percent of bachelor's degree students were women.

Paramedical professions are still considered "feminine" and women make up 80.6 percent of students training for them. Women comprise 90.4 percent of teachers' training students.

Only 25.9 percent of students in professions seen as "masculine," such as engineering ad architecture, are women.

Less than 10 percent of students for prestigious professions such as electro-engineering, mechanic engineering and computer engineering are women.

Although more women have academic titles than men, women are a minority among universities' senior staff.

Women comprise 52 percent of employees hired by personnel agencies and only five percent of women are self-employed. Only a third of high-tech workers are women.

Men's average monthly wages are higher than women's wages in every field. Women make on average 64 percent of men's wages. Women who are paid per hour earn 84 percent of men's hourly wages.

The state is Israel's largest employer. The Civil Service report on advancing and integrating women for 2009 says most of the state's employees are women, the majority of them in administrative positions (45 percent) and nurses (22 percent).

Although women are the majority, they are significantly underrepresented in senior positions. They fill only 34 percent of positions equivalent to directors general and deputy directors general, the report says.

More than 20 percent of women - over half a million - are categorized as poor. Most of the people receiving income supplement (56 percent) and old age allowances (68.8 percent) are women.

In 2007, 23 percent of women said they did not buy food due to poverty, compared to 18 percent of men. In 2009, 94 percent of single-parent families were headed by women.

In 2007, 3,843 teenagers up to the age of 18 were married. The number of female minors getting married is estimated to be much higher than the reported cases.

The number of female Muslim minors who were married was more than twice as high as among Jews, and four times as high among girls aged 16-17. 


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