March 18, 2011
MK Gamliel Promotes Reforms For Women and Political System
On March 15, 2011, The American Friends of CECI coordinated a reception for over 100 Israelis, hosted by Yona and Ezra Levi at their residence in Encino, California. The event took place in honor of Member of Knesset Gila Gamliel – Israel’s Deputy Minister for the Advancement of Young People, Students and Women.
The evening’s program commemorated Yom Ha Isha (Women’s Day). It began with a short video followed by American Friends of CECI Board Member Gal Ben-Naim, who talked briefly about CECI’s mission and educational projects in Israel. Illana Shoshan Diamant, former Miss Israel, served as the MC.
MK Gamliel discussed the revolution she hopes to implement regarding women’s status and young people. As a young energetic mother herself, she highlighted the fact that women are currently misrepresented in the Knesset. Today, only 6 out of the 13 political parties in Israel are represented by women. Out of 120 Parliament members, there are only 23 women. Additionally, out of 29 Ministers, there are only 3 women, and only 5 women serve on the municipality level out of 255. Gamliel stressed, “Once we have more women in key positions, things will change. There are not many young women in the political system. I am focusing on advancing the sector of young women.”
MK Gamliel also addressed the problems young people in Israel are facing after their army services. After finishing the military service, many do not have a future plan in place and the State does not help them. Consequently, she proposed a law which would provide one year of free study for individuals who finish their military service and maternity leave for female students who give birth while at the university.
Emphasizing the need for government stability in Israel, MK Gamliel stated that during its 63 year history, Israel has had 32 governments. She confessed that the present system is not working. Today in Israel, in order to establish a government you need a coalition, but smaller parties often end up having more power than is appropriate for their size. She mentioned that Prime Minister Netanyahu appointed Minister Israel Katz to re-examine alternatives for electoral reform in the Knesset’s Committee for Examination of Government Systems and Governance in Israel.
In closing, MK Gamliel stressed, “In Israel, there is a serious problem of governments not being able to finish their full term.” She blessed CECI’s efforts in serving as a catalyst to help pave the way for a stronger, more stable government system.
“You are doing a holy work,” she exclaimed.