Wage gap between haredi, non-haredi women persists

In 2015, 73% of haredi women were aged 25-60 were in the labor force. Non-haredi Jewish women participated at an 80% rate.

April 17, 2016 18:40
1 minute read.
Ultra-Orthodox women Israel

Ultra-Orthodox women work at Matrix Global, a hi-tech company, in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit April 3, 2011. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Despite slow progress in integrating haredi (ultra-Orthodox) women in to the workforce in recent years, there remains a significant wage gap relative to non-haredi women, largely due to haredi women working fewer hours.

All in all, haredi women earned around 30 percent less than their non-haredi Jewish counterparts (NIS 5,533 a month in 2014 versus NIS 8,046).

But haredi women only worked about 29 hours a week, compared to 28 for non-haredi women. On an hourly basis, the gap closed to 7% (NIS 49.8 versus NIS 53.5 per hour).

The statistics, highlighted in a report the Finance Ministry’s chief economist’s office released Sunday, also showed that some 51% of working haredi women worked in the field of education, as opposed to just 18% of non-haredi working female Jews.

Indeed, more haredi women (68% versus 44% for non-haredi women) worked in the pubic sector (education, welfare, health), which also accounted for some of the gap. In the private sector jobs, the wage gap was 23% (NIS 38.3 versus NIS 49.6).

The main reason that haredi women cited as interfering with career progress was the need to take care of their children. Some 47% of haredi women cited it as their main stumbling block, versus 28% of non-haredi women.

Most encouraging, however, was the fact that haredi women had surpassed the 63% participation target laid out by the government in 2012. In 2015, 73% of haredi women aged 25-60 were in the labor force.

Non-haredi Jewish women participated at an 80% rate.

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