Israel Refuses Women And Minority Representation In Coronavirus Exit Strategy

Israel flag and futuristic digital abstract composition with Coronavirus inscription

If you were to look at a general qualification of who should be a part of a post pandemic task force, women should not be excluded. But somehow, Israel has chosen to exclude the fairer sex. Israel’s National Security Council has last week rejected the demands by a coalition of women’s organizations to include a diverse group of women in its panel of experts advising the council and prime minister on how to return back to normal life, as the Coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

The 23 experts and eight research assistants appointed to lead the corona virus exit strategy, only two are women.Even minority representation was refused.

Two women attorneys Neta Levi and Keren Horowitz have said to have petitioned the High Court of Justice on this matter of the council’s rejection. The petition is demanding the PM Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat to appoint women to the committee of experts, in particular Arab and ultra-Orthodox women.

However, the state has requested to postpone the date of response to the petition .This has been seen as an “expression of contempt for women and for the law.”

Bone of contention remains that the representation comes from the fields of economics, physics, and psychology to name a few. The important fields of education and welfare have not been included in the exit strategy committee.

The whole process has received immense public outrage which included a letter of protest that was signed by more than 100 social action organizations. The letter was meant to address both the lack of diversity and the absence of social welfare or education experts on the panel.  Speaking to defend the panel selection, the panel’s chairman, Prof. Eli Waxman of the Weizmann Institute of Science said that “the panel came together under short notice and spontaneously.”

While many plans were proposed, the final one to be accepted was proposed by Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) that is going to use a four-phase plan in which the tech, finance, and trade industries resume operations first, along with some public transportation.  

National Security Council (NSC) plans to use a four-phase for Coronavirus Pandemic:
  • Public sector activity will expand to 50 percent in the first phase.
  • In the next stage, elementary-ages children will go back to school and the commerce and retail industries will be allowed to resume activity.
  • In the third phase, cafes, restaurants, and hotels will be allowed to re-open and will be required to implement strict hygiene and physical distance measures.
  • In the fourth phase, shopping malls, theaters, cinemas, and cultural centers will be allowed to reopen, sports events may take place, and most travel flights may resume.
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