Low retirement age for women, divorce proceedings in the rabbinical courts, limited options for men to take paternity leave are the main reasons for the low mark received by Israel in the World Bank's Gender Equality Index on employment and business for 2019, which was published today.
Israel received a mark of 80.63 out of 100 and was ranked 76 out of 184 countries, ahead of Rwanda but behind countries like Vietnam, Mongolia, Armenia, Malawi, Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe. However, the US was only ranked 64, 12 places ahead of Israel.
The top six countries in the ranking are from Europe. The average mark worldwide is 74.7 while the average mark in the Middle East is just 47.37. In other words, the report says that the working woman worldwide receive an average of three quarters the rights of men, while in the Middle East it is less than half.
On the other hand, there is a trend of improvement and substantial closing of gaps worldwide. In 2009, the global average mark was 70.06 and since then in 131 countries there have been 280 legislative amendments that have reduced gender inequality and impacted the rights of 2 billion women.
The region with the most progress has been south Asia where the average mark has risen from 50 to 58.6, east Asia where the average mark has risen from 64.80 to 70.73 and sub-Saharan Africa where the mark has risen from 64.04 to 69.63.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 4, 2019
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