Women in Israeli National Politics

While more Israeli women than ever are active in municipal politics, they are not climbing the political ladder to the Knesset and ministerial positions, according to Sharon Shenhav, head of Na’amat’s Jerusalem legal services office.

Shenhav reported that about 100 women currently sit on Israeli city councils, and that 21 municipalities have advisory committees on the status of women. Although the current Knesset, like its predecessor, includes nine women members, no women are in the cabinet (the previous cabinet had one woman minister).

In a recent talk to Pioneer Women/Na’amat leaders in New York, Shenhav discussed Na’amat’s recent efforts to educate Israeli women on political issues and said, “We have concentrated on bread-and-butter issues for a long time, and women are now cutting their teeth on local issues. But it’s time to put our efforts toward national politics. If there were 25 women in the Knesset, it would make a big difference.”