Israeli PM Fails to Include Women in Cabinet

Prime Minister Ehud Barak came under heavy attack for reneging on his promise to include more woman in his cabinet. Women’s organizations are expected to hold protests because only one of 32 appointed cabinet members is a woman.

An MP from the Labor Party, Yael Dayan, commented, “This is a scandal. It violates his campaign promise to bring change and to be the prime minister of all Israelis.” According to Alice Shalvi, a protest organizer, Barak had pledged to nominate a “record number of women” to his parliament. She said, “We expect the prime minister-elect to make the changes he promised, including appointing women to cabinet positions, making them deputy ministers, heads of Knesset committees and to other high-level positions where important decisions are made.”

The only woman Barak appointed is Labor Deputy Dalia Itzhik, who is rumored to be either the minister of environment or culture and sport.

Many women are concerned that women will not be represented by Barak’s new parliament. Dayan noted, “…half of the population which voted for Ehud Barak will be represented in government by just one woman. I hope we are not regressing to a situation comparable to what happens in countries like Pakistan.”


Agence France Press - July 5, 1999

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