Israel ranked 60th in gender equality - World Economic Forum

Israel's largest gap was in the field of political empowerment where only 22.7% of the gender gap has been closed.

Two elderly women sit on a bench on Jaffa Street in downtown Jerusalem on October 26, 2020.  (photo credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)
Two elderly women sit on a bench on Jaffa Street in downtown Jerusalem on October 26, 2020.
(photo credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)
Israel ranked 60th out of 156 countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report for 2021, released Wednesday. Israel's score was 0.724, meaning that Israel has closed 72.4% of its gender gap on average across the fields measured, and still has a 27.6% gender gap on average.
Iceland is the country with the smallest gender gap for the 12th year, with a No. 1 rank and a score of 89.2% of the gender gap closed. Globally, the gender gap has been closed by 68% according to the index, meaning that 32% of the gender gap remains.
The estimated time it will take to close the global gap has increased by 36 years since 2020, from nearly 100 years to 135.6 years, according to the report. This is due in large part to the coronavirus and the massive impact it has had on women.
Women lost jobs at higher rates and were disproportionately effected by coronavirus lockdowns, the report states. Also contributing to the pandemic's disproportionate effect on women is the fact that housework and child and elder care fell on women as schools and other frameworks closed, according to Ipsos survey data.
“Israel is in a worrying process of a regression of the status of women,” WIZO Israel chairwoman Ora Korazim said, commenting on the effect of the pandemic. “Women went back dozens of years during the coronavirus pandemic to traditional, household roles. Mothers to small children paid a heavy price without educational frameworks, some paying with their jobs.”
In January, women were 68% of those newly registered as unemployed, according to WIZO, and female unemployment was consistently higher than male unemployment over the course of the pandemic, according to the Employment Service.
The Global Gender Gap Report examined four areas; economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; health and survival; and political empowerment.
Israel's lowest rank was 129th place out of 156 in the field of healthy life expectancy in years. Overall, Israel ranked 121 out of 156 countries for the health and survival gender gap.
In the area of economic participation and opportunity, Israel ranked 65 and has a 29.5% gender gap still left to close. Israel's biggest economic gender gap is in its percentage of female legislators, senior officials and managers.
Israel's largest gap was in the field of political empowerment, where only 22.7% of the gender gap has been closed, leaving a massive 78.3% gender gap.
Israel's recent elections highlighted the country's political gender gap. A projected 30 women will enter the Israeli legislature. This is "actually not an increase from the previous Knesset and it’s certainly not representative of 50% of the population," Emily Schrader, research fellow at the Tel Aviv Institute and an Israeli political consultant, told The Media Line.
Only one of Israel's party heads is female and Israel still has multiple political parties that do not allow women to run on the list. The ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism parties, with nine and seven projected Knesset seats, respectively, do not allow women to run for Knesset.

Tara Kavaler/The Media line contributed to this report.