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Once Again, Women Don’t Have a Seat at the Table

Israel has never excelled at empowering women or putting them in positions of power, including on television. During the most recent Gaza operation, this trend broke an all-time record. Like in every other war, male generals took over Israel’s TV studios, and with them a battery of military reporters, military representatives, and military commentators – the overwhelming majority of whom were men. Meanwhile, women were left to be “victims” and only brought onto air to discuss the damages inflicted upon their neighborhoods or communities. The truth is that the asymmetry we’re witnessing on television is merely a product of the asymmetry that exists in society at large. The military leadership lacks women, major companies lack women, public organizations lack women, and our political system lacks women. Make no mistake: While women are those being ostracized, the resulting problem is one affecting both men and women. After all, Israel’s most important decisions are often made without any input from women despite the fact that women bring unique perspectives to the table, are able to think outside the box, and are proven to be more attentive than their male counterparts. It’s time we all realize just how dangerous this situation is. Women deserve to have their voices heard, not as a favor; but because it’s the right and beneficial thing to do for everyone. The images of cabinet rooms filled with men should be an embarrassment to us all. We are all ultimately paying the price for this groupthink. –Irit Rosenblum (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)