This week, the Knesset Committee on Gender Equality held a special meeting to mark the publication of the 2015 Gender Index, published by WIPS – Center for the Advancement of Women in Public Sphere, a feminist think tank and applied research institute, supported by the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches, the Dafna Fund, the Miriam Fund, and the Hadassah Foundation.

MK Aida Touma, the first Arab woman to Chair a Knesset Commitee, opened with warm words of appreciation to WIPS and its co-founders, Professors Naomi Chazan and Hannah Herzog for initiating and publishing the first comprehensive gender index measuring gender inequality in Israel across 11 domains, using 56 different indicators.

The GI, published for the third year, constitutes a most valuable source of data and information about the persistant gender gaps in Israel, and is used by policy and decision makers and government officials to inform policies, legislation and enforcement.

The key findings show that while women have made major strides and have greater access to higher education, the gaps between women and men – especially gaps in employment and pay – remain steady across most domains.

Below are some key findings. You can view the complete Gender Index here:

  • The most significant finding of the Gender Index is that the gender inequality situation in the last year of measurement (2013) is almost identical to that in the first year of measurement (2004). Despite slight fluctuations over the years, there has been no significant improvement in gender inequality over the measurement period.
  • Compared with last year’s Index, the 2015 Index shows an increase in gender inequality in four domains: in the labor market domain, in the poverty domain, in the power domain, and in the measure of gender inequality in the periphery.
  • On the other hand, the Index shows improvement in four other domains: in Arab society, in education, in gendered segregation of the professions, and in family status. There was also a slight improvement in the domain of violence against women.
 JWF is proud to support such a critical evaluation tool and such a worthwhile organization.