SHIN – the Israeli Movement for Equal Representation of Women
Shin, the Israeli movement for equal representation of women was founded in February 1989 by Esther Hertzog and a group of women and men, in protest against the exclusion of women from political and public leadership positions in Israel.
Shin struggles for equal representation of women in politics and in all public and economic spheres of life. Political power is perceived as a means to achieve equality between women and men in society.
Since its foundation Shin carried out numerous activities with the aim of advancing women to decision making positions in the public sphere: the Parliament, the Government, and the Labor union, on both national and local level. Among these activities were: hundreds of house meetings and public debates, campaigns in support of women candidates, demonstrations against parties discriminating women’s representation, issuing a feminist bi-monthly paper (She’at Ha’Shin), organizing women leadership courses and more.
Acknowledging the fact that the impact of its activities was significant but rather limited and the sectorial basis of Israeli political system, Shin established in 1992 a women’s party which did not enter the parliament. In 1999 another women’s party (“equal representation”) was founded by the movement but decided to withdraw from the campaign a short time before the elections took place.
In 1999 Shin has established a “Women’s Parliament”, a political feminist forum for critical debates about prevailing policies and discourse in Israel. The Parliament gathers six times a year, in different places all over the country with Arab and Jewish women on its panels. Over 95 conferences were organized, in which economic, political, educational, social and many other issues were discussed.
In 2010 SHIN founded the Young Women’s Parliament. It aims at raising girls’ awareness regarding women’s and girls’ rights and position in society; at strengthening girls’ self-confidence, skills and leadership aspirations; and at encouraging girls to struggle for gender and social change. The YWP serves as a supportive platform for hundreds of Jewish and Arab girls in 10 Jewish and Arab villages and towns. This activity includes visits to the Knesset, following which some of the groups initiated law proposals, adopted by female Knesset members. The YWP’s events took place even under stressful security conditions, providing a space of solidarity and tolerance. Over 20 events took place since the establishment of this framework.
Anuar, Jewish-Arab women’s leadership group was founded by SHIN in 2002, with the purpose of promoting Jewish-Arab women’s encounters and cooperation. Bi-annual weekend meetings brought together women from these communities and from all social strata. Gender issues were discussed, especially those connected to discriminating Arab women and other marginalized women’s groups in Israel. This activity generated the “Women Reborn” project, which focused on empowering underprivileged women in the Arab villages of Fureidis and Jissr A-Zarka, on literacy studies and on leadership and vocational training. This project developed groups of activists who are currently involved in social activity in their villages and in expanding relationships between Arab and Jewish communities.
The Steering Committee Members are: Esther Hertzog, Ibtisam Mahameed, Anat Livnat, Sarin Angel, Tsipi Glickman, Michal Zeevi, Nechama Dichne, Liron Ben Yaakov, Nili Alon, Yona Markovitz, Natalia Gordon