Knesset Rejects Bill to Combat Violence against Women

Despite weeks of extensive public protest over violence against women, the far-right coalition brought down on Wednesday, November 21, an opposition-sponsored bill proposed by Chairwoman of the Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality, Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List), to combat the phenomenon.

The opposition bill proposal was formulated in the wake of a series of murders of women by their spouses, partners, or other family members, during which more than 20 women were violently killed in 2018.

Several weeks ago, the government said it would present a plan within two weeks to eradicate violence against women. That time has passed, and then some, yet the plan — which was announced in the wake of pressure from female MKs from the opposition and the large-scale public campaign — has yet to materialize.

A demonstration in the Negev against murder of women

A demonstration in the Negev against murder of women (Photo: Activestills)

Initially, the opposition MKs reached an agreement with the coalition chairman to postpone for two weeks the presentation of their own bill so the government could put forth a national emergency plan to eradicate violence against women. Yet, once again, no such plan was forthcoming.

Among the women MKs from the government’s coalition who voted against the opposition bill were Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud), Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (HaBayit HaYehudi), Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud), Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Kulanu MKs Tali Ploskov, Meirav Ben-Ari, and Likud MKs Nava Boker, Anat Berko, Nurit Koren, and Yifat Shasha-Biton. Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz also voted against the bill, as did all other members of the coalition.

MK Touma-Sliman, accused the coalition of disinterest: “The coalition has added insult to injury. The vote against the parliamentary commission of inquiry, after a month of dodging promises, shows a lack of political will and indifference to the lives and suffering of women.” “Those who think a woman who complains is a woman who is bored, cannot be responsible of women’s safety. The best thing would be for this government to resign,” she said.