Jerusalem Religious Council offices. Archive.
Jerusalem Religious Council offices. Archive. Photo: Nati Shochat/Flash 90

Affirmative action for gender-equality? According to a directive sent by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to the Religious Affairs Ministry over the past few days, the Ministry must ensure that at least 30% of municipal Religious Council employees - are women. This according to a report on Army Radio this morning (Tuesday).

Data published by the "Hiddush" institute for "religious freedom and equality" in the past indicated that women make up only 4% of the members of Religious Councils. Only one of every 20 members is a woman, only a third of the local Religious Councils throughout the country have a woman member, and there are currently no women serving as Chair of a Religious Council.

During the previous Knesset term, MK Aliza Lavi (Yesh Atid) had initiated a bill to force Religious Councils to be made up of 50% women, to thus be representative of the general population. The bill passed a preliminary reading but hasn't gone anywhere since.

Lavi had offered her help in finding suitable candidates. "The reality on the ground often doesn't allow women to get involved. We need more women to vie for these positions and we need to facilitate this process," said MK Lavi from the Knesset podium.