I spent hundreds of hours researching, interviewing and writing this piece. It is long, but I believe the results indicate a significant turning point in feminism internationally. Let me know if you think the same!
“The situation is still one where in our world, the neutral is male. If there is no active promotion of women, the result means going backward” – Michal Gera Margaliot, executive director of the Israel Women’s Network.
The research offers an analysis of how ‘top-down’ policy and its nature are limiting the advancement of gender equality and specific feminist agendas in Israel. It finds how the nation has made advancements towards women’s participation in education, public space, minority rights, and other areas of society. However, in the last two decades limited progress has been made on women’s mainstreaming to positions of authority, particularly so in the dominant Israeli institutions of the military, religion and politics. This is now exacerbated by a public which is becoming more nationalistic and right-wing, with causes like feminism recognised negatively for their typical alignment with leftist agendas.
There is therefore potential for a J curve, indicative already in instances of separation and misogyny in transportation, university courses, and worryingly, the Knesset. The feminist movement, now bolstered when responding to instances of sexual violence, must be allowed the capacities and freedoms to continue paramount representation-based initiatives. Women’s organisations must be better resourced and empowered to ensure a movement forward on gender equality, and not a return to the repression of women’s rights some in Israel would prefer.
View the entire PDF document below.