Women are underrepresented in senior positions in hospitals, state companies, statutory entities and universities, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira wrote in a report on Tuesday.

There is still a “glass ceiling” for women in senior public service positions, Shapira said, noting that the Knesset was marking Women’s Day on Tuesday and that International Women’s Day was being celebrated throughout the world this weekend.

The report painted a “desperate picture of the situation,” he said.

“To bring change that is positive and a real achievement, words are not enough,” the comptroller said.

Celebrating some victories in equal representation and declarations of commitment were also insufficient, with action being required, Shapira said.

Individual cabinet members and others who help select people for the public service “must act with initiative to advance equality in the areas where there is inequality and to refrain from appointments which undermine this goal,” he said.

The state “must act with determination, and without delay, to fulfill the applicable laws on the issue” of equality, Shapira said.

The attorney-general must act to ensure that the rules regarding equality in the public service are enforced, the report said.

Shapira said that his office would act to set an example on the issue by focusing on hiring women for senior positions on an equal basis.

The fight for equality must go on “day in day out,” he said.

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