Prof. Alice Shalvi at National Masorti Women’s Study Day at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: DANA BAR SIMAN TOV)
Prof. Alice Shalvi, who founded The Israel Women’s Network, has encouraged women to continue fighting for equal rights in Israel.
Addressing hundreds of women gathered at the 20th National Masorti Women’s Study Day at the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem on Friday, Shalvi said that "Women still don't get full equal rights in Israel."
"We had a record number of 36 women MKs in the 20th Knesset and this number dropped significantly in the last elections to only 29 women MKs,” she said.
“Women still earn less than men, especially in unappreciated fields like education, there has been an increase in the number of murders of women and women still suffer from violence," the well-known women's activist continued. "These coming elections are an opportunity to correct what happened in April.”
She told attendees that if they are not yet "registered with one of the parties, go check what their ideological platforms say about women's rights, check how many women are on their lists."
Shalvi encouraged them to "be active, make a stand, join a party, be part of electing its members. There are many ways to be active."
"Don't let others determine your fate, our fate and the fate of our children,” she emphasized.
Lectures during the day included topics that addressed women from Biblical and other periods who left their mark on the Jews, as well as on women’s faith and how it differs from men’s expressions of faith.
Three women rabbis, from the Orthodox, Reform and Masorti donominations also participated in a panel discussion, which addressed their work with Israelis on the periphery of society including foreign workers, Arab minorities and members of the LGBTQ community.
Lectures also took place in several languages such as English, Hebrew, Russian and Spanish, giving Jewish women of all nationalities a chance to listen and connect with the day in their own language.
Diane Friedgut, who has organized the gathering for the last 20 years, said in a statement that “the aim is to connect women together using Jewish texts and break down the barriers of age, ethnic group and socioeconomic status."
"This gives us the possibility to express ourselves with the freedom that is not afforded in mixed groups," she concluded.
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