Despite the legislation on the books, women still earn an average of 34% less than men doing equal work. SHATIL's Equal Pay project, in partnership with the NIF grantees Israel Women's Network (IWN), the Adva Center, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is attempting to narrow the pay gap between women and men by working with employers and advocating for policy change.
Two amendments to existing laws advocated by the three-year EU-funded project and sponsored by MK Aliza Lavi, chair of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset last week.
The first amendment will enable women who are paid less than men to be compensated for the very fact of gender-based discrimination and not only for the financial damages suffered. It will also enable women's and workers' advocacy groups to receive relevant data from employers. Currently, only the employee can ask for wage information, which prevents many women from filing complaints for fear of being fired. The second amendment focuses on greater wage transparency.
As a first step in raising awareness about the issue, SHATIL and its partners released an upbeat video clip (in Hebrew) featuring government ministers and MKs from across the political spectrum voicing their support for equal pay. "The importance of the law is not in doubt, but a large part of the public generally does not know its existence," Livnat told Ynet, which featured the film clip on its home page. "I'm sure [the project] Equal Pay will help raise the issue on the public agenda…and help it to be enforced and will expose many women to the rights that are legally theirs."