Israel: A Century of Political Involvement
Itzkovitch-Malka and Friedberg provide an overview of women’s eligibility and political participation in Israel. The chapter begins with a description of Jewish women’s efforts to win suffrage and eligibility to run for office in the pre-state era. It then maps the patterns in the descriptive representation of women in the Israeli parliament since the establishment of the state until today. It also addresses the mechanisms and debates surrounding the use of gender quotas to increase the representation of women in parliament. Finally, it discusses the substantive representation of women in the Knesset, comparing the parliamentary activity of female Knesset members (MKs) to that of their male counterparts. The authors show that when engaging in most policy issues, there are no clear gender differences between the legislators except for two areas: women’s issues and national security. Women legislators contribute more to the volume of legislation on issues related to women and their status in society compared to men. They also place this policy area higher up their set of parliamentary priorities. Men, on the other hand, contribute more to the legislations on national security and place national security higher up their set of parliamentary priorities.
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