(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
While women have gained greater prominence in legal circles and as company directors, they have made no headway as legislators.
In fact, there will be fewer women in the 17th Knesset than there were in the 16th. Several women who were among the 18 in the previous Knesset failed to gain re-election, and the women who are among the new faces in the Knesset failed by one to make up the difference.
In the 16th Knesset, Likud boasted the largest female representation with seven women MKs prior to the defection of Tzipi Livni and Ruhama Avraham to Kadima.
Pnina Rosenblum's brief tenure did not make up the deficit. Labor-Meimad was second with four women MKs until Dalia Itzik moved over to Kadima. Shinui started out with three women MKs, but was reduced to two following the death of Yehudit Naot.
Meretz, the National Religious Party, Am Ehad and Yisrael B'Aliya had one woman each.
Gila Finkelstein of the NRP was not returned to office, nor was Ilana Cohen of Am Ehad, which was Amir Peretz's party before he returned to Labor. Marina Solodkin, who was elected on a Yisrael B'Aliya ticket moved over to Kadima, while Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On managed to win another term despite her party's loss of mandates.
Likud MK Naomi Blumenthal, who has been sentenced to eight months imprisonment for bribery and obstruction of justice, refused Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu's request to take her name off the list for the 17th Knesset, but given the results of the elections, she would have been out even if she had not been convicted.
Kadima, with six females, has the largest number of women in the 17th Knesset. Headed by Tzipi Livni, the list includes Solodkin, Dalia Itzik, Ruhama Abraham, Ronit Tirosh and Amira Dotan. Labor has five women: Yuli Tamir, Sheli Yacimovich, Colette Avital, Nadia Hilo and Orit Noked. There are three women on the Yisrael Beiteinu list - Esterina Tartman, Sofa Landver and Lia Shemtov. Limor Livnat remains the sole woman on the Likud list and Zahava Gal-On on Meretz's.
One of the new faces in the Knesset is that of Sarah Merom-Shalev, of the Pensioners' Party.
Of the new female MKs worth watching is Nadia Hilo, a third-time lucky candidate, after two previous failures to get into the Knesset.
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