Israel’s universities are ranking among the best in the world, but its record on gender equality is not nearly that good, according to statistics gathered in recent reports.
Five of Israel’s leading higher education institutions were ranked among the top 500 inaugural 2015 Best Global Universities published by US News and World Report on Tuesday.
Factors used to rank the universities included global research reputation, publications, international collaboration, total citations, number of highly cited papers and number of PhDs awarded.
The highest Israeli ranking was won by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, at #102. Tel Aviv University followed with a ranking of 148, then Hebrew University of Jerusalem at 152 and Technion Israel Institute of Technology at 236. Ben Gurion University of the Negev rounded out the list with a ranking of 431.
The gap between the genders in Israel, however, has increased according to the World Economic Forum 2014 Gender Gap Report, released Tuesday October 28.
Israel is still the top-ranking nation in the Middle East, at 113.
But it dropped by 12 slots since last year, and now has an overall rating of 65.
Scored at 0.700 on a scale where 0 reflects inequality and 1 is complete equality, Israel is barely above the two-thirds mark – hardly an accomplishment for a modern-day Western industrialized nation.
Global and regional comparisons between nations are ranked in four categories: economic participation and opportunity for the two genders, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment.
For Israel to rank at 65 in the Middle East, among nations where women are still required to remain completely covered in public and forbidden to leave home without a male escort age 9 and above, let alone drive a car, means the “Start Up Nation” still has to get the key in the ignition before the nation’s leaders feel confident they have made it on to the road.