Gendering security: The substantive representation of women in the Israeli parliament

Reut Itzkovitch-Malka, Chen Friedberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study focuses on the links between gender and national security in the legislative arena in Israel, considering whether men and women legislators prioritize security differently, alongside other thematic policy areas. The centrality of national security issues in Israeli politics makes it a good case study for these questions, as it enhances existing gendered stereotypes. The article examines two competing hypotheses. The first suggests that Israeli female legislators will mostly refrain from addressing national security policy issues, focusing instead on softer policy issues, such as gender equality, education, health, and welfare. The second suggests the opposite, claiming that women legislators in Israel will align themselves with their male counterparts’ set of priorities, focusing heavily on issues related to national security. The study finds support mostly for the former: Israeli female legislators are especially active in policy areas relating to women’s issues and children/family and are less active in regard to national security, a policy area heavily dominated by male legislators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-439
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Women's Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/ or publication of this article: This research received funding from the Israel Democracy Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Gender-based stereotypes
  • gender inequality
  • gender regime
  • legislative behavior
  • women and politics


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