With the Miss Universe competition being hosted in Eilat, the Israel Women's Network held an alternative event on Saturday known as 'Miss Fix Universe' at the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation among other criticism for the well-known pageant being held in Israel for the first time.
The event was attended by women from areas of real estate, food and hi-tech, and was designed to show Israelis the real beauty of the state through women's rights activism, human rights, democracy, environmentalism, equality and social justice. Overall, 243 women signed up for the event.
Multiple entrepreneurs were awarded NIS 30,000. They include Yael Vered, for the Shame Moves Aside initiative; Amira Qassam and Hani Sabag, who are behind ‘job360,’ working to increase employment in Arab and Haredi society; Yael Sherer, who runs The Lobby for a War against Sexual Violence; Dr. Maya Torem, founder of a rehabilitation clinic for women who fall into the circle of prostitution; Muna Arok, co-director of Mahapach-Taghir, giving Arab and Jewish women from disadvantaged communities access to higher education opportunities; and Fay Sukenik, founder of the ‘As Far as You Go’ association that helps Haredi women going through a divorce.
Einat Fischer Lalo, director of the Israel Women's Network, stated: "We established Miss Fix as an alternative because we believe that to measure a woman by how she looks and the size of her waist is an erroneous way of looking at the place of women in society.
"Women bring amazing initiatives into the world, which bring hope and change to society, science, to businesses and the environment, in Israel and the world at large. This is the time to respect the activism and the forward-thinking, to celebrate, to fund and to promote projects that work for a better world, and the women who stand behind them,” Lalo continued.
Regarding the Miss Universe competition, Israeli singer Netta Barzilai declined to perform in Eilat, explaining that she "still cannot see myself standing on a stage where women are judged by appearance, body size, height, and weight."