Israel (State of Israel) has a Unicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 29 of 120 (24%) seats in the Knesset / Parliament are held by women.
At a glance
Structure of Parliament: Unicameral
Are there legislated quotas...
- For the Single/Lower House? No
- For the Sub-National Level? No
Are there voluntary quotas...
- Adopted by political parties? Yes
Is there additional information?...
Last updated: Jan 18, 2023
Voluntary Political Party Quotas*
|Party||Official name||Details, Quota provisions|
|Israel Labor Party||Ha'avoda [ILP]||At least 20% of the party list must be filled with women, 2 out of each 10 names. The (minimal) reserved places on the party’s candidates list are: 5, 9, 14, 19, 24, 29 (and also 34, 36, 39, 42, 45).|
|Meretz-Yachad||At least 40% of each sex must be represented on the party list, 2 out of each 5 names (besides the 1th on the list, which is the party's chairman or chairwoman). The (minimal) reserved places for the under-represented sex on the party’s candidates list are: 4, 6, 9, 11|
|Likud||The (minimal) reserved places for women on the party’s list of candidates are: 10, 20, 24, 29, and 34.|
|The Jewish Home||Haba'it Ha'ye'hudi||The (minimal) reserved places for women on the party’s candidates list are: 4, 8.|
|National Democratic Assembly||Balad||At least 33% of the party list must be filled with women candidates, 1 out of each 3 names.|
* Only political parties represented in parliament are included. When a country has legislated quotas in place, only political parties that have voluntary quotas that exceed the percentage/number of the national quota legislation are presented in this table.
Israel uses the system of List Proportional Representation (List PR) and the voters in the elections vote only for a political party and not for the political parties’ candidates. Reserving places for women in the political parties’ lists assures that women candidates will have more chances to be elected. Women compete (in primaries or in party convention) for their place on the party list against all of the other candidates, both men and women. The reserved places mechanism is implemented only if women do not attain the reserved positions or higher ones. For example: A Political Party has reserved the 10th place for a woman in its candidate list. If the first woman-candidate in this Political Party is elected (in primaries) to the 12th place, the reserved places mechanism is implemented, and she is promoted to the 10th place on the list. But if the female candidate is elected to the 8th place, the candidate retains this seat won through primary elections.
In 2021, 29 women were elected. The number of women in parliament increased to 34 after the formation of the new government in June (IPU, 2021).
- Ha'avoda - The Labor Party's Regulations for the Primaries for the 19th Knesset, p. 16,
- Likud - Regulations for the Election of Likud Party's Candidates for the 19th Knesset, article 16,
- Haba'it Ha'ye'hudi - Party's Regulations for the Election of Chairman, Candidates for the Knesset, Convention and Councils of Branches, article 37c,
- Interparliamentary Union [IPU] Parline - Israel Country Profile
- See the latest updates on Israel on iKNOW Politics
- Schwartz, Y. (June 17, 2021). Women are the Key to Israel's Government. ForeignPolicy.
- Shapira, A., Kenig, O. & Friedman, A. (2021). Women's representation in the Knesset and the government: An overview. Israel Democracy Institute [IDI].
- Eglash, R. (August 7, 2020). Four Israeli women who’ve broken new political ground. The Washington Post.
- Chazan, N. (n.d.). Women in Israel: In politics and public life Jewish Virtual Library.
- Levin, L. S. 1999. ‘Setting the Agenda: The Success of the 1977 Israel Women's Party.’ Israel Studies 4, no. 2, p. 40.
- Charney Research (1998). Empowering Israeli women: Gender gaps, women's issues, and the vote. Survey research report for the Israel Women's Network.
- Herzog, H. 1996. ‘Why So Few? The Political Culture of Gender in Israel,’ International Review of Women and Leadership 2, no. 1. p. 11.
- Nelson, B. & N. Chowdhury (eds.). 1994. Women and Politics Worldwide, London: Yale University Press.
- The Knesset: The Israeli Parliament. http://main.knesset.gov.il/Pages/default.aspx