How has the MeToo campaign impacted Israeli families?

Some 60% of parents fear that their children will face gender discrimination at some point in their lives.

February 15, 2018 16:44
2 minute read.
A vendor sells #MeToo badges a protest march for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters

A vendor sells #MeToo badges a protest march for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California US. (photo credit: LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS)


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Some 90% of parents in Israel are worried that their children will fall victim to sexual harassment, according to the findings of a survey released Thursday on Family Day.

The Adler Institute survey examined the influence on Israeli families of the MeToo movement, a worldwide campaign exposing and raising awareness of sexual harassment.

According to the findings of the survey, 47.3% of parents are very worried their children will fall victim to sexual harassment, 39.6% are only minimally worried, while only 10.9% said they were not worried at all.

Furthermore, 60% of parents fear that their children, boys and girls alike, will face gender discrimination at some point in their lives.

Nearly half of parents surveyed, 49.9%, further said the education system does not place enough emphasis on equality between the sexes. In contrast, only one in four parents said they believed the education system was doing its job in this regard.

Yet despite these statistics, the Adler Institute found that nearly half of parents, 41.6%, do not talk to their children about gender equality. The study revealed that only one in five parents said they had talked to their children about this issue.

Additionally, the majority of parents, 44.8%, said they believe it is inappropriate to expose their children to the MeToo campaign, while 33.7% “think” it is appropriate, and only 5.6% of parents “believe” it is appropriate.

Only 9.9% of parents said that the topics and issues of the MeToo campaign were extensively discussed within their family.

With regards to the MeToo campaign specifically, the study found that some 60% of Israeli parents believe the initiative is too aggressive against men: 17.5% said it was very aggressive, 40.9% believe it is somewhat aggressive and only 29.8% said the campaign was not aggressive against men at all.

“The Adler Institute survey shows a significant gap between the worry and fear [about what] parents feel will harm their children and the active actions... needed to ensure that the children will know how to defend themselves properly or to ensure that they do not harm other children,” Osnat Harel, director of The Adler Institute said of the findings.

Harel added that while many parents believe the educational system is not “sufficiently involved” in gender equality, many are “passing on the responsibility” for discussing the sensitive issue of sexual harassment in their own homes.

Harel said her organization supports parents by providing tools and honing skills to address such topics.

“This is how we will ensure a better and safer future for our children,” she said.

The study was conducted by the Midgam Research Institute and surveyed 505 parents of children up to the age of 18 and has a stated margin of error of +/-4.5%.

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