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Shelly Yacimovich .(Photo by: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Poll: Most Israelis back equal representation for women in Knesset
By LAHAV HARKOV
01/21/2015
Over half of Jewish Israelis would not vote for a party that does not include women in its list, a poll released by women's leadership organization WePower found Wednesday.
Over half of Jewish Israelis would not vote for a party that did not include women in its list, a poll released by women’s leadership organization WePower found on Wednesday.

According to the Geocartography poll, 76.3 percent of Jewish Israelis support equal representation for men and women in the Knesset, and only 7.7% oppose it. The rest were undecided.

Dividing the population along religious lines, the survey found that 83.2% of secular people were for equal representation, as were 76.8% of those identifying as traditional and 53.8% of people identifying as haredi or otherwise religious.

In addition, 55.7% of the participants do not plan to vote for parties that do not include women in their lists for the next Knesset; 18% said they would, and 26.3% were undecided.

Of the haredi/religious participants, only 45.1% would not vote for an all-male list.

Among traditional and secular people, the numbers were 53.6% and 60.3%, respectively.

The poll of 500 voting-age Jewish Israelis was taken after the final party primary this week – that of Meretz– and because of the unequal number of women and men in realistic slots in most parties.

WePower director-general Liel Even-Zohar said it was unfortunate that most party leaders had yet to understand that the public wanted equality between men and women in the Knesset.

Even-Zohar recounted that NGOs WIZO, Na’amat, Emuna, the Israel Women’s Network, WePower and Yedid had asked party leaders before their primaries to ensure appropriate and equal representation for women, but only Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid and Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On had answered.

“The parties apparently do not understand that the lack of equality can lead to electoral harm to women,” Even-Zohar stated. “We are in the last stages, a little over a week before the final date [January 29] to submit lists for the 20th Knesset, but there is still time to make improvements and increase the number of women in all parties.”
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