With two days left to the election, Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich on Sunday
focused her campaign on female voters by speaking to future voters at the end of
their day at preschool.
“Would you like a red balloon or a blue
balloon?,” Yacimovich asked a small girl in a stroller, who chose
“That shows a good social democratic education,” she
Yacimovich – together with Stav Shaffir, a leader of the 2011
social protests and No.
8 on the Labor list – presented their plans for
promoting gender equality to mothers in Tel Aviv.
The emphasis on female
voters comes in light of Labor-sponsored polls indicating some 500,000 women are
still undecided, and features the slogan “you can defeat Bibi [Netanyahu],” with
the word “you” in the feminine form.
A party spokesman explained that
over 20 percent of women have yet to decide who they will vote for, a figure
backed by The Jerusalem Post pollster Rafi Smith. The spokesman added that focus
groups showed that many women feel a connection with Yacimovich and Labor’s
Several parents pushed their strollers through the throng of
photographers so that their children could receive a balloon from Yacimovich
The Labor leader asked a young boy for his name, and rhymed in
Hebrew “a balloon for Alon,” when he told her.
A grandmother refused to
allow the child she was walking home to take a balloon, saying “your parents
would kill me,” but still wished Yacimovich luck.
“Our whole list [for
the next Knesset] is made up of feminists,” Yacimovich told the crowd. “We turn
to women and say: You can defeat Netanyahu. Stop debating whether to join Labor
or not; it is natural for you to vote for Labor led by me. Vote for a woman, and
bring your friends and family to vote.”
Yacimovich claimed that if 10% of
undecided women – which would make up less than two Knesset seats – voted Labor, she could become prime minister.
She also directed comments
at fathers picking up their children from preschool, saying they “need to
support a list that will help men and women.”
Activists handed out
brochures delineating Labor’s plan for gender equality, which includes
increasing maternity leave by a month, free education from age two, legislation
further protecting women from domestic violence, canceling employment of
teachers as contract workers and other reforms.
Yesh Atid also focused on
females, Sunday, sending party leader Yair Lapid’s wife, Lihi, a former
columnist focusing on women’s issues, to talk to undecided voters on the
On Saturday night, the party held the final conference in a
series of campaign events targeted at women.
“Yesh Atid will work to
shrink gaps between men and women and give equal opportunities to women to reach
equal status and salary,” candidate and Herzliya Mayor Yael German
The party also pointed out that 40% of its top 20 candidates are