A new accomplishment to enhance women representation in the local councils
In June 23, 2014 the Knesset Approved with a high majority (56 deputies voted supporting the law, and 14 were against) with the second and the third hearings, the suggested law to promote women representation in the decision making cycles in the local authorities. To be mentioned, that this law passed the first hearing during February, 2014.
The organizations' coalition coordinator, Ola Najami stated, "The vote process was a chance for both the Arab and Jewish MKs who support women causes, to implement their attitudes through their presence, and to vote supporting the elections law".
Women Against Violence initiated two years ago to establish this coalition as a pressure body consists of feminist and human rights – Jewish and Arab organizations to work on amending the elections law in the local councils authorities that ensures women representation, increased by 1 out of the first 3 top slots in each elections list, where the list that will commit to implement the law will be provided additional 15% on its existing budget.
Najami added, the coalition appreciates the impressive and active role that was taken by the deputies, Dov Hanen, Aliza Levni and Yofaat Karev, who worked extensively to recruit a majority of the Arab and Jewish Knesset members, in addition to the deputy Haneen Zoabi who proposed a suggestion to the law, furthermore the extensive efforts of the coalition members in the recent months, to rally the MKs to support the law amendment and to vote for supporting the law ensuring an increased opportunity for women representation in the decision making cycles in the local councils elections.
To be noted that there were real challenges to pass this law, as the coalition that consists of 7 organizations (Women Against Violence, Itach- Maaky, Al Zahraa , Mossawa Center, Ken org. the democratic women movement and the women lobby in Israel.) and the Knesset Members who suggested the law faced strong opposition from the Jewish religious parties, who worked hard to swamp the proposed law with objections, and that led to postpone the vote process several times.
Women Against Violence general director – Aida Touma, commented on this important achievement by congratulating women on this achievement, considering it as an important and historical achievement that will lead to a major change in the women representation in the decision making cycles in the local authorities. Adding that in the past two years Women Against Violence, worked intensively towards supporting this law and establishing the coalition.
Touma added, that the huge efforts and the hard work that the coalition initiated before the last local councils elections in addition to the law bill suggestion, represents a wide opened doors and opportunities in front of the women to enhance their contribution in building and strengthening our society through the decision making cycles in the local authorities- which affects the daily life of the Arab society. Now the next step and challenge will be the continuance preparations for the next local council's elections to increase women representation.