Israel beats Yemen, Saudi Arabia for smallest gender gap in Middle East

Israel comes in 53rd place in a World Economic Forum study; increase in female MKs helped Israel rise in ranking.

Israeli-Arab woman votes 370 (photo credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters)
Israeli-Arab woman votes 370
(photo credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters)
Israel received an award for gender equality from the European Parliament on Wednesday, beating out some of the least female-friendly countries in the world.
The Women in Parliaments Global Forum (WIP) held its annual summit in Brussels, where it gave its WIP Award to countries that champion closing the gender gap, according to a World Economic Forum study.
Israel participated in the Middle East and North Africa category and beat out countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, which are at the bottom of international rankings.
Supreme Court Justice Daphna Barak-Erez accepted the award on Israel’s behalf on Wednesday night.
Knesset Secretary Yardena Maller-Horowitz attended the summit in addition to Yesh Atid MKs Pnina Tamnu-Shata and Yifat Kariv as well as MKs Michal Roisin (Meretz) and Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi).
The WEP study examined the distribution of resources to men and women in each country and gender equality in society.
Israel received a score of 70.3, and is in 53rd place out of 135 countries, as opposed to 56th place last year.
The WEP cited the increase in female MKs as a reason Israel rose in the rankings.
Leading the list are Iceland and Scandinavian countries, and Syria, Chad, Pakistan and Yemen close it.
In addition, Israel is in 45th place in wage gaps between men and women, 36th in the amount of women holding senior positions and 58th in female parliamentary representation.