Women Say 'No!' to Equality in Retirement

Egged on by feminists, Knesset's Labor and Welfare Committee approves law that would keep women's retirement age 5 years under men's.

Gil Ronen,

MacKinnon in Jerusalem
MacKinnon in Jerusalem
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Knesset's Labor and Welfare Committee voted unanimously Monday in favor of a bill that would make it impossible to raise women's retirement age from 62, where it currently stands. Men's retirement age is 67 – although women outlive men by four years on average.

The bill was initiated by MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz) and Labor and Welfare Committee chairman, MK Chaim Katz (Likud). 

Women will also continue to be able to demand an old age pension from the National Insurance Institute from age 62, depending on their income.

The committee's decision is designed to forestall the implementation of Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz's decision to raise women's retirement age to 64.

Attorney Talia Livni, chairwoman of Na'amat, Israel's largest women's union, urged the Knesset to complete the legislation by January, before the Finance Ministry's decision to raise women's retirement goes into force.

The leaders of Israel's women's groups adhere to militant "feminist" ideology which demands equality between men and women as regards respect, privilege and power. Equality is never demanded, however, with regard to obligations. Overwhelmingly, women's advocates see special privileges for women in employment, taxation, benefits for divorcees and military service as a good thing.

The militant feminist establishment's position of power in media, courts and law enforcement has created a situation in which males in power also tend to toe the militant feminist line.

Scholars have noted the connection between the feminist and Marxist movements, and Catharine MacKinnon, a leading feminist ideologue, has written that "Sexuality is to feminism what work is to Marxism." She visited Israel in 2008 and was warmly received by local feminists.