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Last week, the women's lobby sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding immediate action to appoint women to the positions of CEOs in government ministries and threatening to go to the High Court on the matter.
So far, the 37th government has appointed 20 CEOs in the government ministries, and today (Sunday) the appointments of three additional CEOs will be approved - all men and not a single woman among them.
"Such a low representation of women among the CEOs of government ministries is a blatant violation of the duty of adequate representation that applies to our affairs, a duty that is enshrined in legislation, Supreme Court rulings, international treaties, government decisions and the instructions of the Attorney General," reads the letter sent by the lobby to the head The government last week.
This morning the government will approve the appointments of three additional CEOs who will manage the government ministries: the CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture, Oren Lavia, the CEO of the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption Avihai Kahana and the CEO of the Diaspora Ministry Avi Cohen Skelly.
Lavi and Kahana will replace two female CEOs appointed in the previous government: Naama Pess Kaufman, CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture, and Daganit Sankar, who was CEO of the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption.
There are still several ministers who have not yet confirmed the CEOs of their ministries, but in the meantime 23 men have already been appointed, And zero women.
This is a sharp decrease compared to the previous government, which broke the record of nine female CEOs, but also the lowest level to which the representation of women in senior management levels in the government has fallen in over 20 years. The data of the women's lobby shows that since 2001, when there has been one female CEO Only in the government offices, the number of female CEOs was not that low.
Zero female CEOs in the government. The 37th government of Israel (Photo: Reuven Castro)
The women's lobby sent an urgent appeal to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Legal Advisor to the Government Gali Beharev Miara and Civil Service Commissioner Daniel Hershkovitz, claiming that this is a "flagrant violation of the duty to provide adequate representation in the appointment of CEOs in government ministries." Copies of the letter were also sent to the chairman of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Knesset Panina Tamno Sheta and the Chairman of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women in the Government Ayelet Razin Beit-Or. In the letter, written by lawyers Hagi Kalai and Gali Singer, the laws, rulings and government decisions that anchor the principle of adequate representation and affirmative action for women in the public service are detailed, such as the Law on Equal Rights of Women from - 1951 and the Civil Service Law which states that among civil service employees, in all ranks and professions, in every office and in every trust unit, adequate expression will be given to the representation of both sexes, and also applies to the appointment of CEOs to government offices.
In addition to the fact that adequate representation for women is mandated by law, the letter states "it is also a public and moral necessity of the first order, and this is especially true when it comes to the most senior level in government ministries, which is of great importance and influence on government policy."
It is also written that "the accumulated experience and information indicate that the appointment of women, in addition to being valuable in itself, provides added value to the position and a unique point of view, in a way that benefits the position, as well as all citizens of the State of Israel."
The women's lobby demands that the prime minister act immediately in order to appoint women as CEOs of government ministries, and they asked to receive the reference of the government officials by Tuesday "so that we can economize our steps and, if necessary, turn to the courts." The women's lobby is also organizing a women's demonstration tonight with other women's organizations On stage against the government and against the planned legal reform, which the organizations claim will harm women and the legal and constitutional protection of their status.
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The women's lobby