Women, minorities will be represented on gov’t panels

High Court of Justice rules on petition by coalition of 11 women’s groups demanding Arab woman be appointed to Trajtenberg Committee.

Trajtenberg Committee 'Rothschild Team' 311  (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
Trajtenberg Committee 'Rothschild Team' 311
(photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein announced on Tuesday a plan to amend a government directive on fair representation for women from different population groups to include a specific reference to government committees.
The move came in response to a recent High Court of Justice ruling on a petition by a coalition of 11 women’s groups demanding an Arab woman be appointed to the Trajtenberg Committee.
“The attorney-general attaches considerable importance to the matter of fair representation on administrative bodies, including public committees,” said Weinstein’s office in a statement on Tuesday.
Weinstein has already instructed government ministries to allow fair representation to women from a variety of population groups and has reported on the matter to the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women.
The updated government directive will also reflect recent legislative changes in this area, Weinstein’s office said.
As a result of the petition, the government promised last week to appoint an Arab woman to the Trajtenberg Committee, which had also come under fire from Arab-Israeli organizations for failing to appoint Arabs to the 14-member permanent team.
Rights groups pointed out that only one Arab man, Ayman Saif, director of the Economic Development Authority in the Minority Sector in the Prime Minister’s Office, had been included on one sub-committee.
The petitioners had called the exclusion of Arab women “unthinkable and contrary to the conduct of a democratic society.” Lawyer Anat Thon Ashkenazy of Itach – Women Lawyers for Social Justice welcomed the attorney-general’s decision to amend the government directive on representation.
However, Ashkenazy told The Jerusalem Post that Itach will continue to monitor the government’s implementation of the directive.
“The amended directive must include the government’s duty to work actively to ensure women from all population groups are represented and that important decisions are not made by a small group of people who don’t recognize the needs and aspirations of a diverse group of women,” said Ashkenazy.