MK Tzipi Hotovely has found herself in a unique position in recent weeks, as a
Likud lawmaker who is actively working with protesters and calling on the
government for reforms.
However, she is quick to point out that she only
supports specific demands, saying those who organized demonstrations throughout
the country are “confused.”
Hotovely, chairwoman of the Knesset Committee
on the Status of Women, has called for the government to institute free early
She recently proposed a bill that would provide free
education from the time a mother finishes her pregnancy leave until her child is
five years old.
The central problem is that there are not enough daycare
centers and nurseries, she said.
According to Hotovely, the amount of
state-subsidized nursery schools does not meet the demand, and the only children
who currently qualify to attend such schools are those with single
“We need a National Housing Committees Law for daycare centers,
so there can be a wave of construction,” she said.
Another way Hotovely
hopes the government will “make parents’ lives easier” is by subsidizing daycare
for women who work part-time, and not only those with fulltime jobs.
pointed out that one of the first bills she passed as an MK was to extend
pregnancy leave to six months.
Hotovely has cooperated with leaders of
the “stroller march” protesting the cost of raising children, inviting them to
address her committee last week. She said, however, that much of the work must
be done without them.
“These parents are confused, and they don’t know
how to define their demands,” she said. “They need to focus on the most
important issues, and not minor ones, such as the cost of
“Daycare centers are the most expensive thing parents have to
worry about,” she said.
As far as the protests across the country are
concerned, Hotovely said they are about “rich people’s problems.”
are people with money, making decent salaries, but saying they can’t make it
through the month,” she said. “They’ve fallen in love with protesting.”