OECD report: Israel’s gender pay gap is higher than average

Israel also lags behind on student spending.

September 16, 2016 04:49
2 minute read.
WOMEN IN ISRAEL still earn less than similarly educated men in the same age group, relative to other

WOMEN IN ISRAEL still earn less than similarly educated men in the same age group, relative to other OECD countries.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel spends less per student and maintains higher gender pay gaps than other developed countries, according to a report released Thursday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

According to the report, Education at a Glance 2016, while Israel has almost no gender gap in contrast with other countries in the completion rate of bachelor’s degrees or equivalent programs – 47% of women and 46% of men – women in Israel still earn relatively less than similarly educated men in the same age group.

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The data showed that in 2014, a tertiary-educated woman earned only 66% of what a man with a tertiary degree earned, less than the OECD average of 73%.

Furthermore, in line with the OECD average, the employment rate is 84% among tertiary-educated women but 90% among their male counterparts.

The report also noted that even though Israel has significantly increased spending on education, it still spends less per student for all services across all education levels compared with the OECD average.

The study found that in 2013, Israel spent the equivalent of 5.9% of its GDP on education, above the OECD average of 5.2% – 4.3% on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary, (above the OECD average of 3.7%) and 1.7% on higher education (similar to the OECD average) in 2013.

The findings indicated that between 2008 and 2013, Israel increased its spending per student in primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education by 17%, a greater increase than the average across OECD countries of 8%.

With regards to higher education, Israel also increased its spending per student by 15% during the same period, also significantly higher than the OECD average of 5%.

However, despite these promising statistics, Israel spends less per student than the OECD average.

The study found that from primary to higher education, Israel spends $7,840 per student per year, compared with the OECD average of $10,493.

The reason for this, explains the report, is that Israel has a very high number of students among its total population.

On a positive note, the report found that almost half (49%) of Israel’s adult population aged 25-64 have attained higher education, well above the OECD average of 35%, and the third-highest rate of all OECD countries.

The 2016 report, for the first time, also measured countries’ efforts to achieve “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established in 2015.

Of the OECD countries, Australia and Canada are top performers, followed by the Netherlands and Belgium - with data and benchmark level performance on at least seven out of 10 targets.

However, the report found that the majority of OECD countries are far from reaching the benchmark level for at least five of the 10 targets for education.

Israel is no exception, having only met the benchmark for two targets: ensure that all children have access to quality early childhood care and education by 2030, and ensure equal access to tertiary education.

“These findings are sobering,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría at the launch of the report in Brussels. “High-quality, accessible education remains a challenge for all countries around the world. Improving the efficiency, quality and equity of education is critical to foster inclusive growth and give everyone a fair opportunity to succeed.”

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