Personal Story

The Override Clause and Gender Equality in the IDF

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Alice Miller describes how the High Court of Justice helped change women’s military service and improve gender equality in the IDF

Alice Miller submitted her petition to the High Court of Justice when the army rejected her as a candidate for the pilots’ course because of her gender. The High Court of Justice ruled that women had the right to equality in their military service—both formally and on the ground, and that the army’s policy of barring them from becoming pilots was unacceptable. The Defense Service Law was amended to state that every woman, just as every man, had the right to serve in any position in the army unless the inherent nature of the position required otherwise. As a result the motivation for integrating women into army units and the principle underlying the integration of women into the IDF changed to one of and utilizing their potential to the maximum.

In Israel's democratic system, the central government is not restrained by a constitution, nor does it have a federal system or federal courts that diffuse its power. Rather, the Supreme Court is the only barrier standing before the unrestricted rule of politicians, and therefore, judicial review is an absolutely essential part of enacting new laws. The proposed Override Clause Bill, will enable the Knesset to curb the Supreme Court's power of judicial review. It is of the utmost importance to maintain the independence of the only nonpartisan system designed to restrain the tremendous power entrusted in the ruling coalition.