How well are women actually represented in Israel’s government?

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How well are women actually represented in Israel’s government?


The steady increase in the percentage of women in Israel’s parliament has not been accompanied by a similar rise in their cabinet representation.

In February 1969, Golda Meir was appointed fourth prime minister of the State of Israel, thus becoming one of the first women in the democratic world to serve in her country’s highest political office. Despite this achievement, however, the inclusion of women in Israel’s cabinets is far from impressive.

From the state’s establishment in 1948 and up till 1974, there was only one femlae cabinet minister — Golda Meir. The next women to become cabinet ministers were Shulamit Aloni (1974), Sara Doron (1983), Shoshana Arbeli (1986), and Ora Namir (1992). Until 1995, only five women had ever served in the Israeli cabinet. Since 1996, the situation has improved slightly, with 13 additional women appointed as ministers. As of January 2019, of the 246 ministers who have served in the Israeli cabinet, only 18 — just 7% — have been women.

Which portfolios are allocated to women?

Three of the four top-tier ministries – Finance, Defense, and Interior – have never been held by women. The only senior ministry ever headed by a woman is the Foreign Ministry. Golda Meir served as foreign minister from 1956 to 1966, and Tzipi Livni was foreign minister from 2006 to 2009.

Click here to read the full article published by Times of Israel on 5 January 2019.

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