Finance Ministry pilot aims to bring gender equality to work-life balance

The parent position will grant certain rights and beneficial conditions to both parents equally.

Parents accompany their children to the kindergarten in Tel Aviv as they return to kindergarden on October18, 2020 after being shut down during a national lockdown in a means to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.  (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Parents accompany their children to the kindergarten in Tel Aviv as they return to kindergarden on October18, 2020 after being shut down during a national lockdown in a means to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
The Finance Ministry announced a new pilot program that will create a gender-neutral "parent position" granting rights to both fathers and mothers, enabling them to take an active role as parents while working.
The goal of the pilot is to enable mothers and fathers to balance work with parenting and to allow families to make their own choices about work-life balance regardless of traditional gender roles.
Both parents will be able to make use of parental rights, regardless of whether the other parent has utilized them and of the status of the parents' relationship.
The task force recommending the creation of the pilot program found that there is a need to change Israeli culture surrounding work-life balance with regard to gender equality, as well as to raise awareness of various rights workers have as parents and to reduce bureaucracy surrounding these rights.
The task force found that currently, despite certain rights that are afforded to both parents regardless of gender, the proportion of fathers making use of these rights is smaller than that of mothers, who work fewer hours than fathers on average.
These facts could contribute to the gender-wage gap and to maintaining family structures that cast women as primary caregivers and primarily in charge of maintaining the household, according to the task force.
Israeli women earn, on average, 31.6% less than men. In comparison to other OECD nations, Israel is ranked third from the bottom when it comes to equal pay.

Daniel Nisinman contributed to this report.