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cwoi welcomes european union delegates

At the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, the Council of Women’s Organizations of Israel met with Parliamentary Delegates from the European Union Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality during their visit to Israel, Gaza and Ramallah.  The European delegates included MEPs from Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The meeting took place at the European Union’s Embassy in Ramat Gan, Israel, on November 1, 2011.
Adv. Aviva Kohlmann, Vice President of the CWOI, described the work of the Council and gave an overview of its history, goals and programs.  She emphasized the international connections of the Council as an affiliate of ICW (International Council of Women) and ICJW (International Council of Jewish Women). The EU Committee members and their 20 guests introduced themselves. 

Adv. Dr. Sharon Shenhav discussed gender equality issues in Israel and the Palestine Authority, with an emphasis on the problem areas of religious marriage and divorce in the Jewish and Muslim communities.  Prof. Mina Westman, Chair of the Status of Women Committee, described her involvement in working women’s issues and the lack of equal pay for women. She discussed efforts to encourage women entrepreneurship, including courses to help women to start and expand small businesses.  Gender inequality in the academic world was discussed, with Mina describing her efforts on behalf of women faculty members at the University of Tel Aviv.
  A lively discussion followed, with the MEP’s asking many questions about civil marriage and divorce; the role of the media and the role of the politicians in eliminating discrimination against women.  Concluding the meeting, Aviva Kohlmann presented the European Parliamentarians with the comprehensive Report of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women in Israel, which has been much appreciated by the delegation.