Israel awarded international women’s rights prize


(JTA) — An international forum on women’s rights awarded Israel with a prize for progress made in reducing gender gaps.

The Women in Parliament Global Forum presented the award during a Nov. 27 ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels. Accepting the award for Israel was Daphne Barak-Erez, 48, the youngest justice on the nation’s Supreme Court.

Some 500 female lawmakers, government officials and scientists from more than 100 countries attended the ceremony.

Israel is among a minority of 9 percent of developed countries with gender-sensitive  institutions in the seat of government, according to a 2012 report titled “Closing the Gender Gap” by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD.

The report also said that in Israel and Norway, dropout rates for female high school students are at 27 percent — 15 percent lower than for males.

Still, Israel ranked 53 in the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Gender Gap Index, scoring well below countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and the United States — at 13, 14 and 23, respectively — but also lower than Latvia, Nicaragua, Malawi, Namibia and Bulgaria. Israel scored 56 in last year’s index.

“The Israeli legal system is the arena in which the promise of gender equality is materializing,” Barak-Erez said during her address. This was “the result of legislation regarding gender equality in various areas of life as well as through judicial precedents.”


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