1325 – Petitions to the High Court of Justice and Legal Proceedings

Itach-Ma’aki is committed to monitoring and ensuring the representation of women from various population groups in decision-making centers in Israel. Since 2007, the organization has filed eight petitions to the High Court of Justice against government-established committees that lack appropriate and diverse representation for women, as required by section 6c-1 of the Women’s Equal Rights Law (1951) – a section that partially implements Resolution 1325.

 

One of the petitions that brought about a significant change was in HCJ 5660/10, Itach-Women Lawyers for Social Justice Organization v. the Prime Minister of Israel:

In 2010, Itach-Ma’aki petitioned against the Government and the Tirkel Commission due to the absence of women in the government inspection committee examining the events of the Turkish flotilla to Gaza. The petition argued that the lack of women on a commission dealing with such an important issue is contrary to international law and the Women’s Equal Rights Law, necessitating the High Court of Justice’s intervention. As a result of the petition, the High Court of Justice ordered the government to appoint a woman to the committee, setting a legal precedent for appropriate representation for women.

 

Another notable petition was against the National Security Council’s team of experts dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. After the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, it was revealed that the government had formed a team of 23 experts with no women present. In response, Itach-Ma’aki and the Rackman Center filed a petition on behalf of 10 women’s organizations, demanding the immediate implementation of legislation to ensure equal representation of women, with a focus on women from minority groups such as Arab and ultra-Orthodox Jewish women, who were particularly affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the petition, the NSC established a new team of experts with a majority of women, which was led by a woman and included an ultra-Orthodox woman and a Palestinian woman.

 

HCJ 1823/15, Ben Porat v. the Parties Registrar:

After a long struggle for the right of ultra-Orthodox women to be accepted as members of ultra-Orthodox parties, the High Court of Justice ordered the Agudat Yisrael party in January 2019 to remove any impediment to the acceptance of a woman as party members from their bylaws. This decision marked a historic step on the way to having women represented in ultra-Orthodox parties. Together with Prof. Neta Ziv, Itach-Ma’aki represented 10 women’s organizations that joined the petition filed by Adv. Ben-Porat. Throughout the process, critics argued that ultra-Orthodox parties couldn’t change, but the High Court of Justice ultimately ruled that there was no room for the exclusion of women from the ultra-Orthodox sector. As part of the petition, the court was asked to clarify that after the regulations were changed, the restrictions and discrimination against women who wish to be accepted as party members must be effectively removed.

 

The Inter-ministerial Committee for the Formulation of an Action Plan for the Implementation of UN Resolution 1325:

Seven years after we submitted our recommendations to the government for an action plan, the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women formed an inter-ministerial committee for the first time to formulate an action plan for implementing Resolution 1325 in Israel. As an organization leading the promotion of the historic decision in Israel, Itach-Ma’aki participated in the first historic discussion, alongside Nabila Espanioly from al-Tufula and Tanyah Murkes from Forum Dvorah. In the discussion, they presented their strategy, demanding regular consultations with diverse civil society organizations. In response to the government’s move, Itach-Ma’aki and Nabilah Espanioly created a forum for dozens of Jewish and Palestinian women’s organizations to voice their concerns before the inter-ministerial committee. Together with 30 organizations, they called on the government to formulate a plan addressing Resolution 1325’s core subjects – the impact of conflict and occupation on women.

 

the Gender Equality Cabinet headed by former Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli:

Itach-Ma’aki participated in shaping and formulating the Gender Equality Cabinet’s powers. The Cabinet’s focus included reducing the proliferation of firearms, promoting government decisions relating to gender equality in political processes and welfare, strategically advancing the government’s commitment to implementing the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promoting policies to protect women of minority groups and including them in decision-making centers, and more. The Cabinet operated only briefly in 2022.