For the first time in its history, Israel has a Women’s Party running in the March 2 election – the Kol Hanashim Party.
Israel’s first women’s political party represents the diverse social fabric of Israel. The party will run in the 2020 Knesset elections to bring about gender equality, participation of diverse women in decision making, and a different type of leadership in all areas of governance.
The Kol Hanashim Vision
The Kol Hanashim Women’s Party is committed to redefining Israel’s values, with a focus on equality, integrity, responsibility, democracy, humanity, creativity, hope, and compassion. These values form the basis for a healthy and thriving society, and our vision is that Israel will be a country where all people are seen, heard, and represented in decision-making processes. Kol Hanashim strives to advance issues that are important to women, such as equal pay, stopping violence against women, and early childcare, and to bring women’s knowledge, experience, and perspectives to a wide range of issues on the agenda in Israel, such as health, economics, education, welfare, transportation, and of course peace and security. Including a wide range of women’s voices in decision-making will bring about creative, intelligent, and humane solutions to many important issues, and thus has the potential to improve the lives of all people across Israel.
Who are we?
Kol Hanashim is comprised of diverse women leaders from across Israeli society – right, left, religious, secular, Jewish, Arab, Ashkenazi, Mizrachi, veterans, immigrants, disabled, LGBTQ, single-parent, and more. The women share an ethos and the belief that Israel needs women leaders to bring about creative and humane solutions to issues that impact women most – equal pay, education, violence prevention – as well as the issues that affect us all.
The Board of Directors are:
- Dr. Mazal Shaul
- Sharon Roffe Ofir
- Dr. Elana Sztokman
- Yael Kehat
- Attorney Effy Fadida
- Hanan Kabub Ablasi
- Talia Omer
Why a women’s party?
The status of women in Israel in 2020 is poor compared to other nations and in decline. Israel currently ranks 64th in the world in the Gender Index of the World Economic Forum, down 18 places from the year before. Politically, women are struggling, and Israel trails far behind countries like New Zealand, Rwanda, and Finland in terms of women’s leadership. In all of Israel’s history, of the 2640 Knesset members who have served, only 138 have been women – a paltry 5.2%. In the most recent Knesset, there are 28 women (out of 120) – a number that has been going down rather than going up. In the past decade, there have never been more than four women in the cabinet out of an average of 30 ministers. The absence of women in decision-making means that 50% of the population is not adequately represented, an absurd situation that results in a skewed agenda, and the loss of creative, humane, and diverse approaches to a wide range of issues affecting the daily lives of people around Israel.
The platform is based on the values of gender equality, women’s leadership, and the belief that a gender lens offers a conceptual approach of compassion, integrity, hope, honesty, creativity, and humanity – values that guide policy recommendations on all issues on the public agenda.
Violence against women
Addressing and preventing sexual violence, abuse, and femicide, as well as the issue of divorce recalcitrance.
Creating directive policy and legal protections for working women including penalties for companies that violate the law, investing in infrastructure that facilitates parents to work, and more.
Advancing gender equality in education from early childhood through secondary school, including challenging existing cultures around STEM, sports, arts, and emotional intelligence, and more; advancing educational policies that enable women to work, such as childcare from birth through age three.
Expanding legal directives around equal representation for women from all communities, in private workplaces, public boards, and the political sphere, including fining or preventing funding for organizations that do not abide by the law.
Promoting the health and well-being of women, children, and vulnerable communities, and ensuring that quality healthcare for all citizens is a top governmental priority
Promoting economic policy based on equal access and opportunity, compassion and empowerment for vulnerable communities, and the values of transparency and integrity, with particular attention to solving issues regarding housing, pension, and the feminization of poverty.
Peace and security
Advancing creative and humane solutions to the conflict, out of a belief that the key to lasting peace is the inclusion of women in negotiations.
Prevention of the exclusion of women – whether explicit or implicit – in all areas of our society. Promoting accessibility and inclusion of all communities, including the elderly, Holocaust survivors, the ill and those struggling with mental illness, those living in poverty, and more.
Promoting creative, humane and comprehensive approaches to environmental issues, with special attention to the connection between climate change and social inequalities.
After two unsuccessful rounds of elections and coalition negotiations, Israel’s leadership is failing. The health system is crumbling, the education and welfare systems are in crisis, security budgets are frozen, senior positions have been left unfilled for extended periods, urgent funds are not being transferred (for example, to children in the south who are in post-trauma because of the security situation), and more. Amidst this inertia, Israel is now heading for its third, expensive election in a year, and seems to promise more of the same. The nation is in a crisis of leadership, democracy is under threat, and instability and despair dominate. The solution is to bring women to the decision-making table. The Kol Hanashim Women’s Party will bring the voices of women who have been excluded and will operate with integrity, transparency, cooperation, compassion, dialogue, and respect for the institutions of democracy. The party prioritizes what is good for Israeli society, and what is good for the people.
There is no time to wait. Israel needs women’s leadership now. Israel is our home. And now it is the time for women to lead.