Gender Quotas Database

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Israel (State of Israel)

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?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Mar 8, 2019

Single/Lower House

Knesset / Parliament

Total seats 120
Total Women 29
% Women 24%
Election Year 2019
Electoral System List PR
Quota Type No legislated
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline

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.

Additional Information

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.

Additional reading

  • For information about women in the 2006 Italian election, see the Department of Rights and Equal Opportunities website: www.pariopportunita.gov.it/DefaultDesktop.aspx?doc=969
  • Guadagnini, M. 2005. ‘Gendering the debate on political representation in Italy: a difficult challenge’, in Lovenduski, J. et al (eds) State Feminism and Political Representation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 130-152.
  • Levin, Leah Simmons. 1999. ‘Setting the Agenda: The Success of the 1977 Israel Women's Party.’ Israel Studies 4, no. 2, p. 40.
  • Guadagnini, Marila. 1998. ‘The Debate on Women’s Quotas in Italian Electoral Legislation.’ Swiss Political Science Review, 4:3, pp. 97-102.  http://www.spsr.ch/Debates/QUOT/QUOT2.pdf
  • Herzog, Hanna. 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

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