Israel Second Worst Globally for Gender Wage Equality

Only one other country – Angola – receives lower score in annual gender gap report.

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Women working at an Israeli factory.
Women working at an Israeli factory. The percentage of women in the workforce has been steadily increasing as more older women delay retirement. Credit: Yaron Kaminsky

Israel was the second least equal country in the world in terms of wage equality between men and women, a global report released on Tuesday found.

Occupying the 130th place, Israel is second only to Angola in wage inequality for similar work, and dropped 16 places from its 2013 ranking of 114, according to the World Economic Forum's 2014 Gender Gap Report.

In overall gender inequality, Israel did not fare so well either, dropping 12 spots to number 65 from its previous ranking, indicating that gender inequality in the country has worsened in the past year.

Though remaining the region's top scorer, Israel suffered a sheer drop in "Economic Participation and Opportunity," falling from 56th place to the 90th.

A smaller dip was registered in "Health and Survival," where Israel ranked 96th, three spots lower than in 2013.

However, Israel has seen improvement in "Educational Attainment" and in "Political Empowerment." In the first, measuring the gap between women's and men's access to education and relative ratios of literacy, Israel climbed an impressive 33 spots, from 82nd to 49th place.

In the second, measuring the gap between men and women in political decision making through the ration of women to men in both government and parliament, Israel climbed from the 57th place to the 49th.

Since the World Economic Forum started releasing the Gender Gap reports in 2006, Israel, initially ranked at 35th, has seen a steady drop in its ranking.

The world's top overall scorers were the Scandinavian nations of Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, scoring a ratio between 0.80 to 0.85, 1.0 being perfect gender equality. Israel scored 0.7. The United States, scoring 0.74, was ranked at 20th place, slightly higher than its 2013 placing of 23rd.