|Government Committee on Royalties Compelled to Add Women|
|Written by Tamara Symonds|
The Sheshinski 2 Committee on natural resources met for the first time on Monday with six women on its 14-person panel. The first meeting had been delayed following a petition to the High Court of Justice by a number of women's and human rights groups protesting that only one woman was named on the original committee. The Finance Ministry agreed to reconstitute the committee before the court considered the case.
Among those submitting the petition were NIF grantees Itach-Maaki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice, Tmura: The Legal Center for the Prevention of Discrimination, Mossawa Center, and Achoti-Sister for Women in Israel.
The Sheshinski 2 Committee will examine the royalties paid by private companies for Israel's natural resources and whether the government is receiving a fair share. The main focus will be the companies selling Dead Sea minerals and Negev phosphates, which reported earnings of 7.2 billion in 2012.
The Sheshinski 2 Committee follows the first Sheshinski Committee, which examined the royalties and taxes paid on Israel's offshore natural gas discoveries, and raised them from 33% to 55-65%. NIF/SHATIL and Israel's social change movement actively campaigned for the higher rates, the benefits of which are directed towards social programs.