The Entry and Integration of Women into Judicial Positions in Israel

Gender and Judging (Ulrike Schultz, Gisela Shaw, Hart Publishing) (Forthcoming)

Posted: 27 Feb 2013

See all articles by Eyal Katvan

Eyal Katvan

College of Law and Business - Ramat Gan Law School

Date Written: February 25, 2013

Abstract

From a numerical point of view, women are today a majority in the judiciary in Israel. The beginning of the change and feminisation of the legal profession in Israel is usually dated as the 1970s. The question is when did women's entry into these positions begin, what enabled it and what prevented or halted their integration? I wish to show that the seeds for this success story were not sown in the 1970s, but in the time of the British mandate of Palestine, at the end of the First World War. Although at that time women's integration into the formal legal state systems was not possible, women did serve as judges in informal, non-state courts. I propose that this served as the foundation and training for their subsequent own, or their successors', legal activities after the foundation of the state. The process of integration was largely enabled by and due to: (1) the involvement of women's organisations, which recognised the potential of integrating women within legal frameworks – both during the Mandate and shortly after the foundation of the state; and (2) the private action and independent initiative of the first women lawyers, called to the Bar during the Mandate years. I demonstrate the existence of two ladders – private and collective – which women climbed in order to reach the top of the legal pyramid.

Suggested Citation

Katvan, Eyal, The Entry and Integration of Women into Judicial Positions in Israel (February 25, 2013). Gender and Judging (Ulrike Schultz, Gisela Shaw, Hart Publishing) (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2224018

Eyal Katvan (Contact Author)

College of Law and Business - Ramat Gan Law School ( email )

26 Ben-Gurion St.
Ramat Gan, 52275
Israel

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