Beduin women in Rahat, Israel..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Gender inequality in Israel increased over the past year but the country remains the best in the region when it comes to equality between the sexes, according to the World Economic Forum 2014 Gender Gap report.
Israel’s overall equality ranking, with a score of 0.700 (where 0 reflects inequality and 1 represents complete equality among genders), dropped 12 spots from 2013 to 65. The country’s closest competitor in the region was Kuwait with a ranking of 113. Since the World Economic Forum started releasing the Gender Gap report in 2006, Israel has continually slid in the rankings, dropping a total of 30 spots from its initial ranking of 35.
The report aims to reveal the magnitude of gender-based disparities and track their progress over time. It ranks individual countries and provides global and regional comparisons in four categories: economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; health and survival; and political empowerment.
According to the report, Israel ranked 130th with regards to wage equality between men and women and dropped from 56 to 90 in “Economic Participation and Opportunity,” which examined the participation gap, the remuneration gap and the advancement gap between men and women.
It also fell three spots from its 2013 ranking of 96 with regards to “Health and Survival.”
Despite these declines, there were some areas of improvement including “Educational Attainment,” which examined the gap between men and women’s access to education, where Israel jumped to 49 from 82 in the 2013 report.
Meanwhile, in the “Political Empowerment” category, the country moved up to 49 from 57, reflecting increased participation of women at the highest level of political decision- making.
Of the 142 countries surveyed in 2014, the Northern European region topped the list for gender equality with Iceland, Finland and Norway capturing the top three spots, respectively. Also in the top 10, countries such as Nicaragua, Rwanda, Ireland, the Philippines, and Belgium received top marks for gender equality.
In sharp contrast, and perhaps not surprisingly, Syria, Chad, Pakistan, and Yemen were at the bottom of the list in overall gender equality.