JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet approved a plan to increase the participation of women in municipal government.
The plan, part of the Knesset’s marking of International Women’s Day, is meant to increase the representation of women on local councils from its current 12 percent.
The Cabinet also put into effect some recommendations of the Committee to Prevent the Exclusion of Women, which deals with complaints from the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women hotline, and an advertising campaign to increase awareness regarding the exclusion of women.
The recommendations from the committee put into effect:
* The Civil Service Commission issued directives against the exclusion of women at government and state ceremonies.
* The Transportation and Road Safety Ministry opened a hotline to deal with instances of women being excluded on public transportation. The ministry will require transportation companies to post signs banning such exclusion.
* The Religious Services Ministry will instruct burial societies, the Chief Rabbinate and religious councils to ban preventing women from participating in eulogies and the burial of loved ones.
* The Justice Ministry will evaluate instances in which women have been restricted in media subject to regulation.
* The Israel Police will step up enforcement regarding offenses against women.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the place of women in the public space must be ensured and equal.
“Israel is a democratic country. There is no place in it either for harassment or for discrimination,” he said. “We will act against cases of exclusion and will encourage the involvement of women in public life.”
Netanyahu added, “In a country with women pilots, women will be everywhere.”