Women outnumber men but still not equal

Statistics show women participating more in workforce, but only earn 66% of men's salaries.

Women work at a factory in Israel 390 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Women work at a factory in Israel 390
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Even though women are participating more than ever before in the workforce and are achieving higher levels of education than their male counterparts, their place in society and in the workplace in 2011 was still far from equal to men, annual data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has revealed.
According to the figures, which were compiled based on a wide range of statistics and studies from 2011 and 2010, 2,836,100 women aged 15 or older lived in Israel in 2011, compared to 2,701,700 men. Among the women, 15.2 percent were over the age of 65 and 7.6% over 75.
While the report – published Tuesday ahead of International Women’s Day on Thursday – showed that the number of women in the workforce has been steadily increasing over the last decade and that women are achieving higher levels of academic success than ever before, the statistics still showed that on average women earn only 66% of what men earn and are less likely to work in well-paid professions.
The statistics revealed that while the average net income for a man in 2010 stood at NIS 9,720 a month, for a woman it was less than NIS 6,500. Despite this disparity, the report pointed out that the gap between men and women has been reduced over the last 20 years; at the start of the 1990s women’s salaries on average were only 56% of men’s and in 2002 it was 60%.
The data highlighted, however, that women in general were much more likely to fall below the poverty line, with more than a quarter of women women aged 18-64 being at very high risk from becoming poor.
Part of the disparity between the genders in terms of salary, explained the authors of the report, is a difference between the labor output of women and men. On average men worked 45 hours a week while women only 36 hours a week, however in calculating income by the hour, the discrepancies in pay are still clear with men earning NIS 51.4 an hour and women NIS 43 in 2010.
Another likely reason that females earn less lies in the type of professions women often choose. The statistics highlighted that 44% of women are employed in professions with low incomes such as child minders, elementary school and kindergarten teachers, secretaries, sales, office clerks, cleaners and cooks.
Despite this, the report did show that the number of women holding less traditionally female positions has increased over the past 10 years. In total, some 92,000 women were employed in hi-tech jobs in 2011.
In addition, the data indicated that in 2011 more than half of Israel’s women (52.6%) were working, compared to only 48.2% a decade ago. More than 66% of employed women worked full-time in 2011, while 33.6% worked part-time.
Regarding education, the CBS noted that 61% of girls and 50% of boys achieved full matriculation in 2011, with girls from the Arab sector gaining much better grades than the boys.
In higher education, women also fared better.
Of the 298,098 students in higher education here more than half, 167,908, were women in 2010 and the number of women in higher learning increases according to the level. In 2010, 55.9% of those studying for a first degree and 58.6% taking a second degree were women.
Among the general statistics, the CBS’s data showed that 161,450 women gave birth in 2010, with the average number of births per Israeli woman at a little more than three, higher than the OECD average of 1.74.
In the year 2009, 19,849 women turned to hospitals to request their pregnancy be terminated.
Of those, 98.5% of the requests were approved; 51.4% because the pregnancy was conceived outside of marriage, 19.1% due to medical danger for the baby; 18.8% due to danger facing the mother and only 10.6% because of the woman’s age.
The data also showed that in 2009, some 48,997 women got married in 2009. For 90% of them, it was their first marriage and the average marriage age here is just below 25. In addition, some 13,233 women got divorced in 2009, with the average for divorce being 38.
Although International Women’s Day has been recognized since the early 1900s, it is generally agreed that international observation of this day first started in 1911. In 1975, March 8 was designated as International Women’s Day and is usually marked globally by events promoting equality for women in all aspects of life.