Millions in funding approved in war on violence against women

Merav Michaeli announced at the gender equality cabinet that NIS 155 m. will go to the fight against violence against women and that she will advance legislation on economic abuse with Gideon Sa'ar.

"You are not guilty," read signs at the protest against the recent violence against women, March 15, 2021.  (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
"You are not guilty," read signs at the protest against the recent violence against women, March 15, 2021.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)

Some NIS 155 million in funding will go towards Israel's plan to combat violence against women, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli announced at the first meeting of the ministerial gender equality cabinet on Sunday.

"The aim of this ministerial committee, and for this meeting, in particular, is to update each other on the current status and to ensure that we begin to work together, across all ministries, to begin to eliminate violence against women," said Michaeli.

Michaeli went on to say that Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar and she have agreed to advance legislation that would recognize economic abuse - a topic that has proved controversial in previous attempts to legislate it.

"we will put forward legislation as soon as possible to finally recognize economic abuse," said Michaeli.

 Minister of Transportation Merav Michaeli speaks during a memorial ceremony marking 26 years since the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem on October 18, 2021.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Minister of Transportation Merav Michaeli speaks during a memorial ceremony marking 26 years since the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem on October 18, 2021. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

"We will take steps to prevent it because it is time that it was legislated. It is not a matter of opinion; it is not something that happens accidentally. It is simply violence and is prohibited, even if it is carried out through economic means.”

A poll by Women's Spirit, an Israeli nonprofit that works to grant financial independence to abused women, showed in 2020 that of 400 women affected by domestic violence, 70% are in debt the majority of which is the result of financial abuse.

The majority of those subject to this form of abuse are women suffering financial abuse from their partners, but financial abuse also impacts elderly parents abused by their children among other populations harmed by the occurrence, according to Walla! News.

In July, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman directed that the plan to combat violence against women and domestic violence, approved by the government in 2017 but never fully funded, receive funding to the tune of NIS 55 million.

The interministerial plan to combat violence against women was approved by Israel’s government in July 2017 – designating a budget of NIS 250m. which would be distributed over five years – but the budget was not implemented in full as Israel went through a series of elections.