Veteran Israeli politician reveals sexual assault by former president and Nobel laureate, and other stories
#WomenLead (Issue 71): Your weekly round-up on women in politics
Hello, and welcome to Issue 71!
The spotlight in today’s edition has mentions of sexual assault, and we would recommend you read it only if you are in the right mindspace to do so. It’s been painful for us to read and write it, but the story of one woman in politics often contains the story of so many. Today’s spotlight from Israel is a case in point.
We also have updates from France, Iraq and Morocco. If you missed last week’s edition, you can read it here. And if you think more people should be reading this edition, please do share it on your social media networks:
👍 GETTING BETTER: Ninety-seven women have been elected to Iraq’s Parliament in the recent elections, and will make up 29 percent of the Council of Representatives. This exceeds the 25 percent quota for women, and is the highest representation of women in the country’s Parliament thus far.
👩 ANOTHER FIRST: There are seven women among 24 ministers in Morocco’s new cabinet. The seven include Nadia Fettah Alaoui, who becomes the first female finance minister in the country.
🙋♀️ REPRESENTATIVE RACE: In France, another woman has officially joined the Presidential race. Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, has received the Socialist Party’s official backing after she won an internal election in the party. France will elect its next President in April 2022. Never has a woman been at the helm of French politics so far. Earlier, Valerie Pecresse had announced her bid to be France’s first female President. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right party, National Rally, is the third woman in the race.
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Spotlight: ISRAEL 🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱
Colette Avital, a veteran Israeli diplomat and a former lawmaker, has revealed that she was sexually assaulted by then Prime Minister Shimon Peres in the 1980s. Peres was one of Israel’s tallest political leaders and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Avital made the revelation during an interview with Haaretz published last week.
The long interview is a powerful and painful account of what it means to be a woman navigating the corridors of power, a territory often exclusively occupied by men, and where women have often been considered trespassers.