Al­most 100 women to take up po­si­tions in city coun­cils

But still com­prise only one-sixth of coun­cil mem­bers

The Jerusalem Post - - FRONT PAGE - • By TAMARA ZIEVE

It’s not only in the US that re­cent elec­tions have seen more women win po­si­tions of power. Lo­cal elec­tions held last week placed nearly 100 more women in city coun­cils across the coun­try com­pared to the last elec­tions, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary data gath­ered by the Au­thor­ity for the Ad­vance­ment of the Sta­tus of Women.

In the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions of 2018, 426 fe­male coun­cil mem­bers were elected, com­pared with 327 in the elec­tions of 2013.

De­spite the in­creased num­ber of fe­male win­ners, it is only slight – from 13.5% in 2013 to 16.6% to­day – and is due to a gen­eral in­crease in the num­ber of coun­cil mem­bers through­out the coun­try.

In Parde­siya, Le­havim, Har Adar and Alfei Me­nashe there are five coun­cil­men and four coun­cil­women on each board.

Beer­sheba and Tel Aviv hold the record with 10 coun­cil­women each, out of 27 and 31, re­spec­tively.

But in 68 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, not a sin­gle woman will serve on a coun­cil, in­clud­ing Bnei Brak, Umm El-Fahm, Elad, Beitar Il­lit, Hat­zor Haglilit, Yavne’el, Ye­sud HaMa’ala, Tira, Modi’in Il­lit, Sakhnin, Im­manuel, Ra­hat and Sh­faram.

In an­other 23 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, only one fe­male coun­cil mem­ber will serve, in­clud­ing Yavne, Or Akiva, Safed, Kiryat

Malachi, Kiryat Arba, Ne­tivot and Beit She’an.

In the Arab sec­tor, 19 women were elected, 9 more than in 2013. Th­ese in­clude Nazareth, Ibillin, Ja­dida Makar, Jish, Deir al-Asad, Deir Hanna, Tamra, Ka’abiyye-Tab­bash-Ha­ja­jre, Kafr Kanna, Majd al-Ku­rum, Ma­j­dal Shams, Maghar, Us­fiya, Arrabe, Rameh, Haifa and Lod.

Min­is­ter of So­cial Equal­ity Gila Gam­liel said: “First and fore­most, I want to wish the 426 elected coun­cil­women good luck. You rep­re­sent not only the pub­lic that chose you but all the women in Is­rael. Even in the po­lit­i­cal re­al­ity of 2018, women suf­fer dis­crim­i­na­tory treat­ment, sex­ist com­ments, sus­pi­cions and prej­u­dices. We can change re­al­ity. You are lo­cal am­bas­sadors of a broad in­ter­na­tional move­ment and I urge you to in­cor­po­rate in your pub­lic ac­tiv­i­ties the per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­mote gen­der equal­ity, to en­cour­age other women to join the pub­lic arena and to sup­port mu­nic­i­pal ac­tions that pro­mote women. Your suc­cess is our suc­cess.”

Di­rec­tor of the Au­thor­ity for the Ad­vance­ment of the Sta­tus of Women Eva Mad­ji­boj re­marked: “An in­crease of 100 pub­lic fig­ures is im­por­tant news, to­gether with eleven elected heads of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and six who are run­ning next week in the sec­ond round. This week, a door was opened for 426 women to con­tinue ad­vanc­ing in the pub­lic arena and to es­tab­lish a foun­da­tion for the next elec­tions,” she said.

At the same time, we must also ex­am­ine the ques­tion of rep­re­sen­ta­tion that re­mains poor and un­equal,” she noted. “Less than 17% rep­re­sent a pop­u­la­tion of 51%. We must con­tinue to act to in­crease pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion and pro­mote gen­der equal­ity. I call on party lead­ers all over the coun­try in which the next in line on the list is a woman to have a ro­ta­tion dur­ing their term to al­low more women to serve on the city coun­cil and in­crease their chances of be­ing elected next time. That’s the right thing to do.” •

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