SHIN’s stances delivered the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality
- Prostitution in Israel and its Extent (Discussion held on 22.3.2016)
- Gender Education and Sex Education (Discussion held on 16.2.2016)
- Murder of Women by Their Partners (Discussion held on 12.10.2015)
Founding Women’s Parties
SHIN has founded two women’s parties:
- The first one “Mifleget Nashim” (Women’s Party) was founded in 1992. Ruth Reznik, a veteran feminist activist, well known for her struggles concerning violence against women, was the head of the party. The list gained less than 3000 votes.
- The second women’s party was founded by SHIN in 1999, and was called “Ytzug Shave” (Equal Representation). It was headed by Esther Hertzog, a feminist entrepreneur and a social anthropologist. Following financial, organizational, and personal difficulties it was decided, to withdraw from the elections, shortly before they took place.
The poor rate of women’s representation lasted from 1959 until 1992 and the indirect influence of women’s parties can be discerned in the change of the rates of women’s representation in elected political institutions:
- The 1992 women’s party influence: In the 1988 elections only 7 women (5.8%) were elected to the Knesset, whereas 11 women (9.1%) were elected in the 1992 elections, when a women’s party participated.
- The 1999 women’s party influence: In the very short time of its existence, the party had significant indirect impact on women’s issues and representation, the most conspicuous of which was the increase in women’s representation, increasing from 9 women (7.5%) elected in 1996 elections to 16 women (13.3%) in the 1999 elections.
The contribution of women’s parties’ to women’s rights in Israel calls for a thorough study. Their impact on issues such as violence against women; gender power relations in society; basic human rights, political, economic and others; issues that concern at least half of the population, should be fully acknowledged. Those achievements could not have been gained without the feminist parties, which were born out of the feminist movements and, in return, have inspired the activity of the latter.
Women’s parties have played an important role, though unrecognized so far, in the social and political history of Israel. They accelerated women’s integration into power centers, political and others. They contributed to women’s right to vote and to be elected. They brought into focus the economic discrimination of women, who constitute half of the working force in the labor market. They made feminist concepts of gender equality widely known and discussed.
Raising public awareness with regard to crucial social issues
The debates in the Women’s Parliament sessions contributed significantly to raising public awareness with regard to crucial social issues and succeeded to put into motion feminist initiatives.
Coalition against Pornography
Esther Hertzog, founder of SHIN, together with Viki Shiran founded the coalition against pornography, which exposed the connection between prostitution, trafficking in women and pornography and succeeded to pass the law against pornography broadcasts on public television.
Coalition for Women and Children
As part of SHIN’s activity, women’s organizations’ coalition for women and children was established that succeeded to prevent the abolishment of the law on tender-age custody.
Supporting women’s campaigns to be elected for political positions
Women’s Parliament is continuously involved in supporting women’s campaigns to be elected for political positions on the local and national level. It has promoted the public recognition of the need to establish budgeted women’s divisions in the local municipalities (the first and only one has been established in Hertzliya, to which Hen and Shin contributed significantly).
- Initiating the campaign of women’s candidacy for presidency which resulted in Colette Avital’s announcement of her candidacy for presidency.
- Women’s Parliament has supported Zipi Livni (who won the elections) in her elections’ campaign to become the prime minister and in the recent primaries in Kadima.
Forum against sexual harassment
As part of SHIN’s activity a forum against sexual harassment was established.
Supporting the Law against Prostitutes’ Clients
Women’s Parliament announced its support for Orit Zuaretz’s initiative to pass a law against prostitutes’ clients.
Putting on the public agenda Economic Discrimination an Exploitation of Women
The Women’s Parliament had put on the public agenda issues like the economic discrimination and exploitation of women in the labor market and their exclusion from the political power center and other spheres of public influence.
Supporting Teachers’ Struggles to improve their Working Conditions and Salaries
The Women’s Parliament was the only women’s organization that expressed continuous support of the teachers’ (most of whom are women) struggles to improve their working conditions and salaries.
- It supported Yafa Ben David, the woman candidate for the teachers’ organization’s leadership in the 2006 elections of the teachers’ union.
- The Women’s Parliament supported Anat Shneider’s struggle against Ofek Chadash’s working agreement.
- In the last elections of the Teachers’ Union, that took place last April, Women’s Parliament supported and assisted Gila Klein in her campaign for leading the organization, opposing Yossi Wasserman. As a result of this decisive support the relationships with Friedrich Ebert Foundation ended (as the steering committee was not ready to give up this support and position).
Advancing Gender Equality and Peace – Anuar
Anuar, Jewish-Arab women’s leadership group, was established in 2003 which aims at advancing gender equality and peace. Anuar carried out many workshops in which gender, social and national issues were brought up. It also initiated mutual feminist activities in places like Gisser El-Zarka and Faradis.
Establishing a Platform for Girls to Discuss Issues – Young Women’s Parliament
SHIN founded, in cooperation with Bat Yam municipality, the Young Women’s Parliament. It offers girls a platform for discussing issues that are crucial from their point of view; It strives to enhance girls’ awareness concerning gender inequality in Israel; it empowers girls and young women in their struggles over their rights and position in immediate and wider circles of their lives.