A record-breaking 26 Palestinian women were elected to office in Israel's local elections. Despite the unprecedented numbers, there is still a long way to go. Arab women made history in the last round of local elections in Israel held in late October. A total of 26 Arab women were elected across the country, including the first Druze and first Bedouin woman, respectively, as well as an unprecedented four female heads of political parties. In the past months, civil society and women’s associations banded together to encourage more Arab women to participate in local elections and exercise their right to vote. (Full disclosure: the organization I manage…Read More... | 1 Comment
Shams, a hijab-wearing, Palestinian woman went on the Israeli reality TV show to teach Jewish Israelis about her humanity. She was naive to think she'd succeed, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't support her. It's hard with these Palestinians everywhere, even on Big Brother. I admit and confess, I know next to nothing about the reality show. When I was approached a few months ago in an attempt to interest me in participating in the show, I was amused and laughed at the very mention of the crazy idea. The network representative who tried to persuade me to come to…Read More... | 1 Comment
Despite the hardships, Arab women are making gains in the Israeli legal establishment, local politics, academia, and even in the Islamic Movement. I watched as Hollywood stars collectively came out of the feminist closet during the Academy Awards this week. They spoke with pride about the recent #MeToo campaign, and demanded more respect and more funds for films made by women about women. But why envy the women of Hollywood? There's enough work to do back home. This past week we also learned that the Israel Prize Committee could not find a single woman who was worthy of receiving the…Read More...
A proposed bill to increase the sentences for Arab men who kill women 'on the basis of family honor' is not a step forward for feminism, but a step back. The Justice Ministry recently presented a bill to the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice committee that would define murder on the basis of “family honor” as “aggravated murder,” which requires a sentence of life imprisonment. At first glance, this might seem like a good change, but it’s not. [tmwinpost] For the last two decades, I have been fighting the excessive use of this term – murder on the basis of…Read More... | 3 Comments
When I reverted my surname back to my maiden name, apparently the Interior Ministry decided I was getting divorced. How do you prove that you're not getting divorced? My own personal brush with Kafka. I went to the Interior Ministry office in Beit Shemesh to get a passport issued for my adolescent son last week. He is supposed to travel with friends for a ski vacation in Europe, where it is winter, snowing, cold, and expensive. I got there very early so that I could get back to work at a reasonable time. There were only two Arabs waiting in a…Read More... | 2 Comments
Local Call wins NIS 25,000 for its persistent coverage of the joint feminist struggle between Arab and Jewish women against gender violence. By +972 Magazine Hebrew-language site Local Call won the Dror Prize for social change, along with a NIS 25,000 cash prize, on Friday, for spotlighting the joint struggle between Jewish and Arab women against gender violence in Israel. [tmwinpost] Spearheaded by Local Call and +972 writer Samah Salaime, along with Local Call's editors Yael Marom and Orly Noy, the site published a series of articles in 2017 dedicated to the Arab women who often find themselves confronting not…Read More...
As Jerusalem grows more hostile toward anything remotely left wing, Israeli and Palestinian activists are looking to create a new space for activists to meet, plan, and struggle to change the face of the city. By Sahar Vardi I was 14 years old when I walked into a small room packed with books in a Tel Aviv alleyway, to hear a lecture about human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution in Israel. It was a subject I knew nothing about, but my youth movement counselor told me about the event, so I went. The truth is I remember very little…Read More... | 1 Comment
Thousands of Arab women on Facebook are sharing, with heart-wrenching honesty, stories of female heroism that don’t always make headlines. Is a new Arab feminism emerging? And what about the new Arab man? A week ago one of my Facebook friends added me to a group for Arab women. Oh no, I thought. Not another group. But, as usual, I couldn't resist the feminist urge and went in to take a look. I found stories of working Arab women of all ages from all over Israel: Muslim, Druze, and Christian, religious and less so, married and single; short, emotional stories…Read More... | 2 Comments
The public role of women in Saudi life has expanded rapidly over the past decade, accented last month by lifting a ban on women driving. But as the Kingdom moves forward on some rights, it is regressing with regards to others — particularly, cracking down on political dissidents. By Thomas W. Lippman So, with its decision to let women drive, is Saudi Arabia finally modernizing its oppressive rules of social behavior and relaxing its tight restrictions on political and social life? Yes and no. Economic necessity and the realities of the modern workplace are forcing changes that to Westerners look like progress,…Read More...
On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Ruchama Marton, the founder of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, talks about the atrocities she witnessed as a soldier, the enduring power of feminism, and why only outside help has a chance of ending Israel's military rule over the Palestinians. By Alon Mizrahi Ruchama Marton belongs to what you might call Generation 1.5 of Israel’s anti-occupation activists. She was slightly too young to belong to the small and avant-garde group that established the revolutionary socialist organization Matzpen in the 1960s, but old enough to have taken classes with firebrand Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz in Jerusalem. There, while…Read More... | 16 Comments
The question is whether Zionism can make room for a truly inclusive equality. In a recent New York Times op-ed “Does Feminism have Room for Zionists?” Emily Shire, who identifies as a feminist and a Zionist, argues that her belief in “Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state” should not be at odds with her feminism. According to Shire, women who seek to be included in the women's protests against the current U.S. administration should not have to face a "critical of Israel" litmus test. She takes issue with the Strike's platform, which specifically calls for the “decolonization of Palestine,” but which doesn't mention…Read More... | 15 Comments
Even as women continue to be underrepresented in the film industry, Palestinian director Maysaloun Hamoud's new movie is winning international acclaim — and puts Palestinian women front and center. +972 Magazine sat down with Hamoud to talk feminism, liberation and Palestinian society. One of the strongest sensations I experienced during my first viewing of “In Between” was the discomfort that accompanies the exposure of a secret. A personal, intimate secret, which several women dear to me have kept close to their chest for many years, and which has suddenly been revealed in full onscreen. And not just onscreen: the secret has…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israel's ultra-Orthodox community has been experiencing tremendous changes, all led by women, over the past few years. At a recent conference, a group of Haredi women spoke about the personal price they pay, and the chance we could one day see them in the Knesset. By Eli Bitan In mid-November, women from the organization "Nivharot" ("chosen" or "elected" in Hebrew) held a conference in Jerusalem's Mishkenot Sha'ananim quarter. It was attended by activists in the ultra-Orthodox community, both women and men, who are struggling to ensure Haredi women have the right to run in the next elections under the slogan: "Not Elected — Not Voting." Already in the months…Read More... | 1 Comment
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