When it comes to family members having to give up a job to take care of the children, working women are still generally the ones to take the plunge despite a high number of Israeli men who are staying at home to look after the kids, research by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor revealed Sunday. "For all the [gender] equality around today, the readiness to give up one's jobs to take care of the children is still much higher among working mothers than fathers," researchers at the ministry said. "Traditional social factors influencing this are strengthened by the reward system currently in place where men receive higher wages than the average working mother. Therefore, economic sense dictates that the woman should be the one to give up their jobs." The research, released in light of Family Day on Sunday and based on a social study conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics, showed that 7.4 percent of Jewish men with children below age 13 gave up their jobs to take care of the kids in the last year compared to 21.8% of working women. In real numbers, that translates to 35,500 men who gave up their jobs for the family, amounting to one-third of the 102,600 women who decided to stay at home. Still, the ministry said the working roles are more equal than they were in the past and that combining work and family values are forecast to be more similar among men and women in the near future. "Women with equal tasks in the work place are able to increase the number of hours their partners dedicate to the family and therefore lesson the responsibility of raising and educating the children," the ministry said. In its research on demographic trends in the work place, the CBS noted that in 2005 women accounted for 47% of the work force, up from 38% in 1985, while labor force participation of women over age 15 grew from 38% to 50% through the 20 years while that of men dropped from 64% to 61%. The trend brought the rate of labor force participation for Israeli men between 25 and 54 to 83% in 2004, lower than any OECD country where the average was 92% in the same year. Some 70% of Israeli women in the same age bracket were working in 2004, just above the 69% average in OECD countries. The CBS also reported that the gross average monthly income from wages of male employees in 2005 at NIS 8,575 was 58% higher than those of their female counterparts due partly to the fact that men work more hours on average per month than women. The gap in hourly rates between genders was narrower, however, with men bringing in NIS 44.9, 20% more than women. In 1985, it was 36% higher, the CBS said.