Gaps Shrinking, but Only 67% of Women Work

Women work outside the home less than men do, but the gap is shrinking, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry reported for International Women's Day. There are 1.35 million employed women of working age - between ages 18 and 64 - in Israel, or 67% of women in that age group. There are 1.5 million working men, or 79% of those within working age. The retirement age for men is 67, not 64.

While more women are working outside the home, they are more likely than men to be underemployed or unemployed. Women also make up only 46.5% of the workforce, while they make up 50.8% of the Israeli population, or more than half.

In 2009 the number of self-employed women rose by 10% to 94,000. Women now make up 28% of the self-employed. But women still make less money than men, earning an average of NIS 6,129 gross per month compared to men's NIS 9,590. For college graduates, the gap is NIS 8,626 versus NIS 14,919.

In addition, women still work mostly in what is considered "women's work" - education, caregiving and clerical work. In 2009, 78% of women worked in so-called women's professions, and only 22% worked in traditionally male professions such as manufacturing. Almost half of working women, 47%, worked in the public sector, compared to only 19% of men. Women also make up only 31.7% of managers, even though that number has grown in recent years.