Feminists to protest dearth of women in coming government

As the Knesset marks International Women's Day on Thursday, dozens of women will demonstrate outside against Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu's intention to appoint only one woman - Limor Livnat, the former education minister - to his government. The demonstration is being organized by the WeWomen Organization, which encourages women to enter politics and influence society, and promotes equal opportunities. Although 21 women were elected to the 18th Knesset, four more than in the 17th, there were three women ministers in the outgoing government: Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Education Minister Yuli Tamir and Tourism Minister Ruhama Avraham-Ballila. "Livnat will serve as a fig leaf to an old policy of Netanyahu as prime minister 10 years ago," said a statement by the organization. "Back then he also appointed only one female minister - Livnat... Ten years have passed but nothing has changed." The demonstration will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday in front of the Knesset as businesswoman Shari Arison, the chairwoman of the Arison Group, addresses parliament. Arison, the Middle East's richest woman and owner of Bank Hapoalim, is scheduled to open the Knesset's special session marking International Women's Day, an event that was celebrated in the rest of the world on Sunday, March 8. The Knesset event will include a discussion about women in positions of power. Those scheduled to participate include Brig.-Gen. Yehudit Grusero, the Chief of General Staff's adviser for women's affairs; Prof. Hanna Herzog from Tel Aviv University; Israel Prize laureate Prof. Ada Yonath; and Netanya Mayor Miriam Feierberg. The event will be hosted by former Meretz MK Zehava Galon.