Pictures from the coalition negotiations in the last few days have featured well-known negotiators, politicians, experts at managing and maintaining coalitions, and skilled attorneys. But not a single woman could be seen representing any of the negotiating parties. Likud-Beiteinu, Yesh Atid, Habayit Hayehudi, Hatnuah, Kadima and the ultra-Orthodox parties − none of them saw fit to include a woman in their negotiating team.
On Monday, Ooutraged by this men-only spectacle, WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organization, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other faction heads to include women in the negotiation teams.
WIZO Israel chairwoman Gila Oshrat said: “Excluding women from the coalition negotiations reflects a dangerous chauvinistic attitude, which imposes a distorted view that only men can dictate the agenda and run affairs. Pushing women out of such a crucial stage of putting together the next government’s fundamental principles and determining its make-up, and denying them the ability to influence the shaping of the government’s character in social and security aspects as well as in state affairs, could cost us all dearly,” she said.
“Filling the negotiation teams with jurists and cronies alone minimizes the democratic process and infringes on the principles of justice and equality. We must all act to make sure the negotiating teams and the government’s composition reflect the status, centrality and positions of women in Israeli society,” Oshrat said.