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Female candidates set for high spots in Israel

China Daily | Updated: 2015-03-10 07:56

A minor revolution is under way in Israel, with female candidates catapulting to the top of party lists across the political spectrum ahead of the country's March 17 election, setting them up to claim key positions of power in the next government.

While the number of women in Israel's 120-seat Knesset is not likely to rise dramatically from its current 27, the number of women holding senior positions probably will, breaking new ground for women.

Israel is one of the few countries to have elected a female head of government - Golda Meir, four decades ago. But Meir's success proved to be an exception to the rule, and its politics remain male-dominated. Female representation is low compared to Western democracies, and only 23 women have served as government ministers or deputy ministers since Israel's creation in 1948.

Gideon Rahat, a professor of political science at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, said that while more established parties such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud have elected only three women into its ranks, and appointed another two, newer parties are bringing in more.

The newly-formed Kulanu, for instance, is one-third female. Two parties have women at the helm: Tzipi Livni in Hatnuah and Zehava Galon from Meretz.


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