Despite Major Strides, Female Politicians Still Face Sexism In Israel

Illustration for article titled Despite Major Strides, Female Politicians Still Face Sexism In Israel

Though Israel has been celebrated for political egalitarianism (i.e. the prime ministership of Golda Meir in the 70s), potential PM Tzipi Livni is facing some sexist barriers in her attempt to get elected. Livni needs to gather a coalition to become the official Prime Minister after winning her party's primary last week, but the Orthodox policy of not printing photographs of women in newspapers could seriously wound Livni's campaign. According to Newsweek the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, voters comprise up to 15% of the Israeli electorate, and Reuters notes that the "reclusive community generally shuns the television, Internet and most radio stations," so the local Orthodox newspapers are their primary source of news. A senior editor at one of these papers, Hamodia tells Reuters, "This is the way it was since the beginning of the world, and the way it shall remain."In addition to the refusal to print Livni's photographs, the politician is the subject of many of the same verbal slings and arrows that Hillary Clinton struggled with. One newspaper columnist dismissed Livni as "the prettiest girl in kindergarten," while another mocked her for "lacking balls," Newsweek reports. However, if Livni is elected, all three branches of Israeli government will be led by women, as Dalia Itzik is the speaker of the Parliament and Dorit Beinisch is head of the supreme court. Israel is not the only country where female politicians face certain kinds of institutionalized sexism. There's a minor controversy in Australia because some elite clubs like the Athenaeum Club in Melbourne — the Australian equivalent of the Bohemian Grove — are refusing to issue invitations to prominent women in politics, specifically newly elected Governor General of Australia Quentin Bryce. Businesswoman Caecilia Potter, whose husband recently quit the Athenaeum Club because it would not go co-ed, tells the Times of London, "These clubs are a refuge for a certain type of man…The fact that they pride themselves on being a place where top business people and politicians can network, and then refuse to allow the Governor General membership because she's a woman puts it all into stark perspective." Israel’s Glass Ceiling [Newsweek] Israel's Pious Jewish Press Shuns Images Of Livni [Reuters] Queen's Female Envoy In Australia Shunned By Elite Clubs [Times of London] Earlier: Foreign Minister Is In Position To Be Israel's First Female PM In 34 Years


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@BeckySharper: Seriously "You're not good enough or worthy enough of an education: you know, what with the monthly impurities... but you can try to be worthy of my hand in marriage if you pop out a kid a year and work 18 hour days cuz I'm FAR too educated to immerse myself in the profane. Now what are you standing around for: get cracking on Shabbes dinner, I'm inviting the men from my Yeshiva..."