Knesset Punishes Female Workers Who Skipped Int'l Women`s Day Events

Employees barred from receiving pay raises, promotions in 2008 for failure to attend mandatory program.

Most female Knesset employees have been banned from receiving either a promotion or a pay raise in 2008, after they failed to attend mandatory events in honor of International Women's Day.

Knesset Director-General Avi Balashnikov informed all female employees that they must attend the day's events, which included presentations and a self-defense workshop.

Most of the employees skipped the program, however, and a furious Balashnikov said that "[regarding] all those who have taken the law into their own hands today, I have instructed human resources to refrain from bringing me any promotion forms throughout all of 2008."

"The Knesset is first and foremost and organization and organizations have rules," he said. "I invest more than enough in the Knesset's female employees, and I demand a certain amount of reciprocity and will not apologize."