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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Decades after the women's rights movement demanded equal pay for equal work, Israeli women are still earning, on average, less than half of what their male counterparts are taking home.
Ahead of International Women's Day on Thursday, research published Monday by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor found that in comparing average gross monthly wages between the sexes, women were earning NIS 5,395, on average, in 2005, which was 58 percent less than the average monthly gross wage of NIS 8,545 for men.
Women, however, on average worked 35.4 hours a week, compared with the average 45.8 working hours among men in 2005. Similar wage discrepancies were revealed for per hour payment, which showed that women still, on average, earned 22.5% less than men, even if differences in the number of working hours were accounted for.
At the same time, though, women generally had a higher education level than men.
The research carried out by the Economics and Research Department at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor showed that 59% of women in the work force had more than 13 years of formal education compared with 48% of working men.
Meanwhile, although over the past years more and more skilled women have been joining the working world, the research found that only 3.2% of the salaried women were in management positions, compared with 5.7% among men. Sector by sector analysis revealed that in the hi-tech sector, just 2.4% of the female work force belonged to the relatively high-paying sector, compared with 8.4% of men.
Participation of women in the work place has been growing steadily from 35.7% in 1980 to 50% in 2005. The rate of women between 35 and 44 years old joining the work force reached a record high of 71.3% in 2005, while the participation rate of working women in the age of 60-plus stood at 10.4% and 5.9% for those women still working at the age of 65-plus.
At the same time, 67.8% of mothers with children under the age of 17 were actively participating in the labor force, which was not much below the 76.5% work participation rate of women without children or with children above the age of 18. About 90.9% of working mothers had three children and only 0.8% had seven children.
The unemployment rate of 9.5% among women in 2005, was slightly higher than the 8.5% among men.