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International Women’s Day: socioeconomic picture of Israeli women

Women in Israel earn much less than their male counterparts and are underrepresented in the hi-tech industry and as self-employed workers, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. The report was released ahead of International Women’s Day, marked annually on March 8, and presented a socioeconomic picture of Israeli women.

According to the findings, at the end of 2016, there were 3,160,900 females aged 15 and above living in Israel. With regards to the labor market, the CBS report found that there were major salary gaps between men and women.

The findings indicated that the percentage of females aged 15 and older who entered the workforce stood at 59.3%, compared to 69% of men. In 2016, the average monthly salary of a woman stood at NIS 7,633 while the number was significantly higher, NIS 11,664, for a man. In 2017, some 122,400 women were self-employed, accounting for only 6.8% of all employed women and 32% of all self-employed people.

The average monthly income for a self-employed woman stood at NIS 7,675, compared to NIS 13,272 for men. Additionally, the findings indicated that women accounted for only 34.4% of employees in the hi-tech industry. The report cited that one of the main reasons behind the salary gap was the number of hours men and women worked – with male employees working an average of 44.9 hours per week and female employees working an average of 36.9 hours per week. Still, the report stated that when taking this into account, the salary gap between employed men and women stands at 18.8%.

Some 88% of women are, however, satisfied with their jobs and with their lives in general, though only 56% of women are satisfied with their salaries, the report stated. With regards to marriage and family life, the report found that women in Israel are getting married at a later age and in turn having children at a later age.

According to the data, in 2015, 53,579 women got married. The average age of a newly married woman was 25.2 years old, an increase from the average age of 24.6 years old in 2005. Additionally, the report found that the rate of unmarried women aged 45-49 stood at 9.7% in 2016 compared to only 6.4% in 2005.

In breaking this statistic down by sector, the findings indicated that the average age for marriage among Jewish and Christian brides stood at 26.1 and 25.8 years old, respectively, while the average age of Muslim and Druse brides was significantly lower, standing at 22.2 and 24.1 years old, respectively. In 2016, some 176,800 women gave birth, as the average age of the mother was 27.6 years old, an increase from the average age of 26.8 years old a decade ago.

The average number of children per woman in Israel stood at 3.11 – the highest of countries within the OECD, which has an average of 1.7 children per woman, the report cited. The average life expectancy of women in 2016 in Israel stood at 84.1 years old, compared to 80.1 for men, the findings indicated.

Lidar Gravé-Lazi