The Gender Index, an innovative and groundbreaking tool developed by WIPS – The Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute – can provide broad-ranging evaluation of the inequality between men and women in Israel over time. The Index provides a detailed picture of the state of inequality in various areas of life – work, higher education, poverty, political and economic power, culture, violence, division of time, health, center-periphery relations, and Arab society – and makes it possible to assign an overall score to gender inequality in Israel on the basis of the aggregate of the factors that determine the status of women in society.
The main innovations in the 2017 Index are a new, expanded Periphery Domain, which is based on new measurements and a new methodology. Our research team was able to gather different sources of data and combine the geographical distance of a community from the center of Israel and its monthly income, to provide a first of its kind picture of the gender gaps in the periphery of Israel.
We have also added six new indicators to the labor market domain, which enable a deeper understanding of its gendered structures. Some of these indicators are the rate of employees who receive less than twelve monthly salaries; the number of people who hold more than one job; and the rate of employees who earn less than the minimum wage; which, combined together, depict the increasing precariousness of the labor market and working conditions in the current economy. These new data reveal and strengthen our understanding that a precarious labor market negatively affects and harms women more than it does men.
Unlike other gender indexes, which compare the situation in Israel with that in other countries on the basis of a very small number of variables, the Gender Index is the first of its kind to examine gender inequality in a great variety of areas of life within the country itself. The Index makes it possible to examine directions of development in each area and in each component, while providing a comprehensive picture of the state of gender inequality in Israel. This is the Gender Index’s unique contribution and consequently it can serve as a guide for the country’s policy-makers and government and public bodies. The Gender Index also provides women’s organizations and other civil society groups with a platform for their activity toward changing gendered power relations and promoting gender justice in Israel.
The Gender Index in Hebrew can be downloaded in PDF form.