Two days before International Women’s Day, the Ministerial Committee on
Legislation in it’s Sunday meeting failed to pass a series of bills aimed at
promoting women’s issues.
It is customary for the committee to debate
such bills ahead of International Women’s Day, and in recent years, significant
measures were passed helping women gain workplace equality and strengthening
enforcement against sex offenders. This year, however, four out of the six bills
fell and voting on the two others was postponed by two months.
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bills that were voted down or postponed were ones to end abortion approval
committees, proposing the appointment of women’s issues consultants in public
bodies and reducing the minimum work hours of single mothers.
that did pass and thus will receive government support calls to freeze the
automatic increase of women’s pension age from 62 to 64, pending the formation
of a professional committee to look in to the matter.
Shlomiuk-Babai, legal counsel for the Israel Women’s Network, said that the fact
that none of the bills proposed in conjunction with International Women’s Day
passed was highly regrettable and was a step backwards from the success of
“Women in Israel are discriminated against and we are not
seeing enough being done to change that, either by legislation of new laws to
protect their rights or in enforcement of existing laws,” Shlomiuk–Babai
“In past years we saw a concerted effort to pass bills and laws, as
well as reach pro-women cabinet decisions, during the period before and after
International Women’s Day. Unfortunately this year that didn’t
Shlomiuk–Babai said her organization would continue to attend
Knesset committee meetings and lobby hard for women’s rights year round, and
that she hoped to see more concrete support from the elected officials in the
“For our part we will do everything to advance our agenda and
hope that the government doesn’t torpedo it,” she said.
In a non-related
vote, the ministers approved a bill proposed by Habayit Hayehudi MK Uri Orbach
that would prohibit discrimination based on place of residence.
aims to rectify a situation where goods and services providers refuse to deliver
their wares to certain destinations, such as settlements in the West Bank, or if
they do, charge extra for it.
The bill states that it will be determined
to be discrimination when a company refuses to provide a service to a given
place and agrees to provide service to another place located an equal distance