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Israel: Law to Expand the Representation of Women

(May 11, 2011) On March 30, 2011, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed the Expansion of Adequate Representation of Women (Amendments) Law, 5771-2011. The Law requires adequate representation of women in commissions of inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Law, 5729-1968 and under the Government Law, 5761-2001.

In an effort to expand women's participation in commissions of inquiry, as well as in public bodies in accordance with the Women Equal Rights Law, 5711-1951, the new Law provides for the establishment of a databank of qualified women that will include the names, areas of expertise, education, training, and experience of women who consent to have such information about themselves included. The databank will be maintained by the Agency for the Advancement of the Status of Women.

The Law requires appointing bodies to review information contained in the databank prior to appointment of members of commissions of inquiry and to consider the eligibility of qualified women candidates based on their expertise, education, training, and experience. The Law also expressly mandates that these requirements be applied to the appointment of members of commissions of inquiry by the President of the Supreme Court. (Expansion of Adequate Representation for Women (Amendments) Law, 5771-2011, & related bill, the Knesset website (both in Hebrew & both last visited Apr. 26, 2011); Commissions of Inquiry Law, 5729-1968, 23 LAWS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL [LSI] 32; Government Law, 5761-2001, as amended, SEFER HAHUKIM [Book of Laws] 168; Women Equal Rights Law, 5711-1951, 5 LSI 171.)