Women Campaign Against Discrimination at Workplaces

Workplace Discrimination

Reports and surveys point to a significant salary gap between men and women in the Israeli workforce. After carefully examining the socioeconomic status of women for 14 years, the National Insurance Institute found that men earn 17% more than women when working at the same position, with similar skill sets and experience. They also discovered that 2% more women live under the poverty level than men.

A new social network is starting a campaign to put an end to workplace inequality. According to Ronit Piso, the director of Economic Empowerment for Women in Israel, the objective of this campaign is to raise awareness of workplace instability for women; an issue that often is ignored. Piso claims that sometimes there are statistics point to workplaces that openly discriminate against women or to work environments that are hurtful to women but nonetheless, very little is done to combat these issues.

"Women aren't seen as partners and equals in the workplace, and their work is secondary," Piso reported on Ynet News. "They're the first to be laid off when there are cutbacks, they earn less then men who do the same work. Some of these women are forced to work only part time, and female business owners earn less than male business owners."

Back in May 2012, the Adva Center, an institute for equality and social justice in Israel, reported that over one third of women earn minimum wage in comparison to 17% of men.

The Central Bureau of Statistics took a survey on household expenses in back in 2012. Their survey revealed that the average monthly income for men, before taxes, were NIS 10,953 or NIS 55.1 per hour, in contrast to average salary of NIS 7,244 per month and NIS 46.8 per hour that women earned. As well, the median income for men according to last year's survey was NIN 7,444 per month whereas it was only NIN 5,489 for women.

In short, a woman's median salary totals to 66% to that of a man's median salary and a woman earns a salary of 85% to that of what a man earns.

Ronit Piso stated that a median salary of NIS5,489 for women is barely enough to support their families and cover basic expenses – even when the State of Israel has been privatizing services where everything considerably costs more now than it did before.

"Today, we have to pay for supplementary healthcare, we have to pay for tutors, and we have to pay for afternoon programs in order to work full time. So how can we support a family with a salary like this?" Piso told Ynet News.

Various gender inequality organizations have lend their support by joining this social network campaign created by Ronit Piso. The Women Stopping Inequality, was launched last week on Facebook, and its page already has already achieved hundred thousand likes. These organizations are demanding that the government intensify the enforcement on companies to follow the law, to increase minimum wage, limit contract work, establish a public pension fund with low administrative fees, and to develop services that designed to encourage more mothers to participate in the workforce and to reduce the work week.

The campaign is urging women to dedicate 15 minutes of their workday to raise the topic of inequality at workplaces on Tuesday, January 21. They wrote on their Facebook page that women consist of 52% of the Israeli population. If the State of Israel was a company on the stock market, women would be dominating the entire company.