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Cabinet marks International Women’s Day
By HERB KEINON
12/03/2012
At its weekly meeting, the cabinet approved a plan to allocate funds to increase the involvement of women in politics.
 
The cabinet marked International Women’s Day at its meeting Sunday by approving a plan to increase participation of women in local government, and discussing recommendations to stamp out the exclusion of women in the public domain.

International Women’s Day is commemorated each year around the world on March 8.

Gila Gamliel, the deputy minister for the advancement of women, will be charged with trying to increase the participation of women in local government, and will be given a NIS 2 million budget to raise awareness and develop projects that will give women the tools needed to get into local politics.

According to material presented on Sunday, women make up 50.5 percent of the population, yet only 12% of the 3,132 local and regional council members are women. Moreover, there are only six female heads of regional or municipal councils – or only 2% – out of 256 such positions around the country.

Gamliel said the government’s efforts to increase female participation in the local municipalities was designed to “promote equality and to bring about a significant increase in the participation of women in setting the agenda in the various communities.”

The Cabinet also discussed the recommendations of the committee headed by Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat on preventing the exclusion of women, including dealing with the complaints that reach the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women hotline, and an advertising campaign to increase awareness regarding the exclusion of women.

These recommendations will be added to others in the process of being implemented.

Those include: Civil Service Commission directives issued against the exclusion of women at Government and State ceremonies; The Transportation Ministry’s establishment of a hotline to deal with instances of the exclusion of women on public transportation. The ministry will also require transportation companies to post signs banning such exclusion, and will instruct drivers on how to deal with violators; The Religious Services Ministry will instruct burial societies, the Chief Rabbinate and religious councils to ban the prevention of women from participating in funerals for relatives, or from delivering eulogies.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting that Israel would not tolerate the exclusion of women.
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