Feminist groups in Israel urge PM to add woman to peace talks team

Coalition of women’s groups calls on PM Netanyahu to name a woman to peace talks team; the appeal comes weeks after High Court criticized Turkel Committee’s failure to include a female.

Weeks after High Court judges harshly criticized the Turkel Committee’s failure to include a woman, a coalition of 14 women’s groups appealed to the prime minister on Sunday to name women to the team handling peace talks with the Palestinians.

Among the signatories to a letter addressed to Benjamin Netanyahu are Women Lawyers for Social Justice, Ahoti Movement, Isha L’Isha, Economic Empowerment for Women, Lobby for Gender Equality, The Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow, and Kolech.

The organizations are demanding that the prime minister appoint a woman in accordance with a law that requires “adequate female representation” on government committees formed by the cabinet, the prime minister, a minister or a deputy minister.

In their letter, the groups said that the law also regards negotiating “staffs” or “teams” as bodies bound by the terms under which state committees operate.

“By dint of the demands of the law, there is a clear, unequivocal obligation to appoint women from all walks of the population in a manner that reflects their proportion in greater society,” the groups wrote. “This clearly applies to the negotiating team, and we expect that the law will be fully implemented.”

In the letter, Anat Thon Ashkenazy, an attorney with Women Lawyers for Social Justice, cited the High Court ruling earlier this month that required the addition of at least one woman on the Turkel Committee investigating the raid on the Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla.



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