‘LAST WEEK, the city that had effectively erased its women elected a woman to be mayor’: Aliza Bloch..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
It’s not only in the US that recent elections have seen an increase of women in positions of power. The local elections held in Israel last week put 100 more women in city councils across Israel, in comparison with the last elections, according to preliminary data gathered by the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women.
In the municipal elections of 2018, 426 council members were elected, compared with 327 who in the previous elections in 2013.
Despite the growth in the number of women, it is only a slight increase when looking at the big picture, increasing from 13.5% female representation in 2013 to 16.6% today, due to a general increase in the number of council members throughout the country.
In Pardesiya, Lehavim, Har Adar and Alfei Menashe they are 5 councilmen and 4 councilwomen in each.
In raw numbers, Beersheba and Tel Aviv
hold the record numbers of women with 10 council members out of 27 and 31, respectively.
But in 68 municipalities, the group says not a single woman will serve on the council, including Bnei Brak, Umm El Fahem, Elad, Beitar Illit, Hatzor Haglilit, Yavne'el, Yesod HaMa'ala, Tira, Modi'in Illit, Sakhnin, Immanuel, Rahat and Shfaram.
In another 23 municipalities, only one female council member will serve, including Yavne, Or Akiva, Safed, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Arba, Netivot and Beit Shean.
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In the Arab sector, 19 women were elected, 9 more than in 2013. These include Nazareth, I'billin, Jadida Makar, Jish, Deir al-Asad, Deir Hanna, Tamra, Ka'abiyye-Tabbash-Hajajre, Kafr Qana, Majd al-Krum, Majd al-Shams, Maghar, Usfiya, Arraba, Rameh, Haifa and Lod.
Minister of Social Equality Gila Gamliel said: "First and foremost, I want to wish the 426 elected councilwomen good luck. You represent not only the public that chose you but all the women in Israel. Even in the political reality of 2018 women suffer discriminatory treatment, sexist comments, suspicions and prejudices. We can change reality.You are local ambassadors of a broad international movement and I urge you to incorporate in your public activities the personal responsibility to promote gender equality, to encourage other women to join the public arena and to support municipal actions that promote women. Your success - is our success."
Director of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women, Eva Madjiboj remarked: "An increase of 100 public figures is important news, together with 11 elected heads of local authorities and six who are running next week in the second round. This week, a door was opened for 426 women to continue advancing in the public arena and to establish a foundation for the next elections. At the same time, we must also examine the question of representation that remains poor and unequal. Less than 17% represent a population of 51%. We must continue to act to increase proportional representation and promote gender equality. I call on party leaders all over the country in which the next in line on the list is a woman to do a rotation during their term to allow more women to serve on the city council and increase their chances of being elected next time. That's the right thing to do. "
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