'Gender a minor issue in election'

In survey, only 17% of Israeli voters say they take gender into consideration when voting.

livni hot 298.88 (photo credit: )
livni hot 298.88
(photo credit: )
Only 17 percent of Israeli voters say that they take gender into consideration when they vote, according to a poll released this week. The survey, which polled 566 men and women who are eligible to vote in next Tuesday's general elections, was conducted by the Ma'agar Mohot polling institute for the WePower Organization, which works to promote gender equality. According to the survey, almost half the public, 46%, believes that increasing the number of women in the Knesset would improve the functioning of the parliament. A little more than a third, 36%, said it would not change the way the Knesset works and 18% thought it wouldn't change anything. One-fifth of the women surveyed believe that men block women's promotion in politics - a little more than the number of men surveyed who felt the same way (14%). Only 17% percent of all those surveyed said that gender plays a role in how they vote. Eighteen percent of young voters said it influenced them, as opposed to 8% of the older voters surveyed. Some 62% of all voters surveyed said Kadima leader and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was the most influential woman in politics. Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich placed second with 9%, and 5% cited Kadima MK and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik. Just under 60% of the public said they would not encourage their children to run for the Knesset, while 30% said they would. "I call on women in politics and the heads of the parties to encourage young women to take part in the political process," said Michal Yodin, WePower chairwoman. "First, [they should] implement their right to vote and to be voted for, and then promote legislation that will encourage more women to go into politics."