Women show their support for Tuesday's strike over violence against women, writing on their hands "state of emergency".
(photo credit: I AM A WOMAN-I AM STRIKING)
Following the murders of two young girls who were found dead on the same day, joining 22 another victims of domestic violence killed in 2018, three activists have decided that enough is enough.
The day after 13-year-old Sylvana Tsegai and 16-year-old Yara Ayoub were found dead, Stav Arnon, Ruty Klein and Dror Sadot set up a Facebook page calling on women and men across the country to join in a strike on Tuesday.
“We decided that if it doesn’t happen now it will never happen,” Arnon said. “Twenty four women were murdered this year, and that is the tip of the iceberg of violence against women in all parts of society.”
The page they set up under the banner “I’m a woman. I am striking,” has already garnered the support of thousands of people.
“The cries of the women are buried underneath the silence of the government, which refuses to take responsibility and change the situation. Time after time they bury programs [to fight violence against women], ignore the victims and leave half of the population unsafe. We are in a state of emergency, this is the time, if we do not wake up now, we will never wake up,” reads the call to strike.
“Murder is the extremity of the fact that we are harassed on the street, at work or at home – it is the tip of the iceberg of the wage gap, of offensive remarks, of objectification, of pushing women into low-paid professions, of women in prostitution, of gender-oriented education at schools,” it continues. “This is the result of the violence and gender discrimination that we all feel every day and in every space. If you are a woman – you’re in. If you are a man – join us.”
The strikers will demand the transfer of a 250 million shekel budget for an emergency program to prevent violence against women; for rehabilitation of victims of domestic violence; for education and public awareness efforts; and for a comprehensive policy change in the Israel Police in its approach to domestic violence.
There is an existing plan that has been approved by ministers but has not been budgeted.
On Thursday, Tesfabran Tesfatsion, who is suspect of raping and murdering his ex-girlfriend’s daughter, Tsegai, was brought to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s court, which extended his remand by a week. The court also decided to send the suspect for a psychological examination. The suspect was arrested on Wednesday night after a citizen reported to the police that he had seen him in the Carmel Market
area in Tel Aviv. He has thus far exercised his right to remain silent and refused to respond to questioning.
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