September 23, 2019

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Visit Inspires Israel to Intensify Work on Closing Gender Gap

Leaders of Israeli women’s rights organizations, members of Israel’s Supreme Court and other prominent officials have vowed to intensify efforts to close the gender gap in their country following U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s visit to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Ginsburg was in Israel to receive the Genesis Lifetime Achievement Award from The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF). All sitting Justices of Israel’s Supreme Court, as well as all living former presidents of the Court, attended the ceremony honoring Ginsburg, who visited Israel for the first time in 23 years. For a video overview of the Justice’s trip, visit:

“My colleagues and I were delighted to welcome Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a living legend for all of us,” said Esther Hayut,  president of the Supreme Court of Israel, who hosted Ginsburg at the Israel Supreme Court. “Her visit was an extremely important reminder of the commitment to gender equality we share with her.”

Ginsburg’s visit became a focal point in a series of events with leaders of Israeli women’s NGOs. It followed The Genesis Prize Foundation’s announcement of grant competitions in Israel and North America, where $3 million in funds will be allocated to support organizations working on such issues as enhancing socio-economic opportunities for women; prevention of violence; promoting gender equality among minority groups in Israel; fighting against harassment in Jewish communal workspaces; and encouraging girls and young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Core funding for these competitions comes from The Genesis Prize Foundation and its partner, Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn.

“The latest Global Gender Gap Report, published by the World Economic Forum [WEF], ranked Israel as 44th out of 144 countries, denoting a position nine places lower than a decade ago,” said Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation. “Such a low ranking for such a progressive country as Israel is unacceptable. As is the trend.”

The WEF report attributes Israel’s decline in the rankings to a persistent 40% wage gap between men and women, low levels of women’s participation in politics and senior government posts, and an insufficient representation in top management roles in the private sector.