It was a Zionist act: Feminist politics of single-mother policy votes in Israel

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The notion "political opportunity structure" serves feminist scholarship to analyze the conditions under which achievements are gained in the realm of social policy. This framework has drawn attention to the configurations of access to state institutions, stability of political alignments and relationships with allies. Using this framework, we examine whether Israeli parliamentary feminists relied on a political opportunity structure in two historical periods in the shaping of Israeli social policy regarding allowances to single mothers. Our analysis shows that feminist MPs created a political opportunity structure in 1992 by left-right cooperation and a third discourse, in between the misery discourse and the rights discourse, constituting single mothers as Zionists. In 2002, feminist MPs maintained left-right cooperation but have not developed an in-between discourse. We argue that, in neo-liberal times, feminist parliamentary activism has to become more sophisticated by using discursive leverage to create political opportunities in order to protect past achievements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


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