The National Insurance Institute (NII) recently published a report on the socio-economic status of women in Israel from 1997 to 2011.

The report is based on a study of the socio-economic status of women compared with that of men in Israel. It asks if the poverty level of households headed by women has increased and what the poverty level is as a result of intervention by the state in the form of pensions and taxes. The study describes the causes of poverty in detail, particularly the poverty that is found in the job market. The report portrays a grim picture of social-economic gaps that are rooted in discrimination against women despite the advancement in their general education in Israel.

From the report:

“The results point to socio-economic gaps negatively effecting women during the period studied. Looking at market forces alone, such as salaries, we see that the poverty level fell slightly during the decade leading to an expectation of a trend towards narrowing the gaps. However, the improvement was a result of higher education of women and other elements. Despite this slight improvement, discrimination in salaries earned by women did not change during the study period and there are some indications the poverty level may have risen. There are signs that government intervention through taxes and pensions slowed the process.

…This study shows that women’s education level rose and their numbers in professions that require higher education grew within the period studied. Examination of the salary gaps in the job market, such as the hourly payment, indicates that discrimination against women did not decline and may have gotten worse. However, there are indications that due to higher education preparing them for employment, women’s incomes rose in comparison to men. Moreover, the slight improvement in women’s economic state was influenced by elements in the market place rather than the government policy.”

The full report can be found here: http://www.btl.gov.il/Publications/research/Documents/mechkar_113.pdf