Diplomacy

EU Delegation Highlights Gender Equality and Diversity in Israel to Mark Int’l Women’s Day

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019, the delegation of the European Union in Israel, led by Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, hosted a series of events to highlight gender equality and diversity of women in Israeli society, The Jerusalem Post reported Friday.

“Gender equality and equal opportunities for women and girls is a priority for the European Union – as it is a priority for Israel,” said Giaufret in a video message.

Giaufret spoke alongside eight female ambassadors who all serve in Israel: Helene Le Gal from France; Anu Saarela from Finland; Tina Krce from the Republic of Croatia; Salina Shambos from the Republic of Cyprus; Cecilia Attard-Pirotta from Malta; Alison Kelly from Ireland; Barbara Sušnik from Slovenia; and Charlotte Slente from Denmark.

On March 6, the EU delegation organized an event with women from the Haredi community, which focused on their challenges and achievements in striving for gender equality. Also in attendance were EU female ambassadors from France, Germany, Ireland, and other EU nations.

“Celebrating #InternationalWomensDay2019 with EU women Ambassadors and impressive women from Haredi community, discussing challenges and understanding each other better,” Giaufret said on Twitter.

At a separate event, the EU delegation to Israel will host on March 8 an exhibition on women from minorities in Israel, titled “In Our Voice: Racism, sexism and multiple discrimination.” The exhibition was produced by Shutafot and Achoti, Israeli women’s rights groups.

Ambassador Giaufret said that “the EU supports equality in all aspects of life: access to education, equal pay for equal work (fixed word), access to top positions in companies, government and public administration as well as elimination of gender-based violence.”

“This Women’s Day we celebrate our achievements,” he continued, “and commit to never stop fighting for true equality for all.”

The World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report 2018 showed that “Israel remains the top performer” in the Middle East region, “recording modest improvements on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, driven by an increased share of women legislators, senior officials and managers.” Over the last 10 years, Israel has passed over 50 laws to further bolster gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Jewish State.

In a historic move, four women officially finished the tank commanders course and became the IDF’s first female tank commanders after a 16-month grueling pilot program in June 2018. At a ceremony in December for the women who completed the training, the head of the corps’ training brigade Col. Moran Omer observed, “We’re standing before a bit of history. For the first time, a tank operator medal will be pinned on the uniform of female IDF soldiers.”

In 2017, the Israeli Air Force encouraged more women to enlist in their prestigious pilots courses to increase gender integration in the military. The IDF was one of the world’s first militaries to open combat positions to women some 20 years ago and has since made roughly 90 percent of roles available to both sexes. These include combat roles in the navy, Home Front Command, Artillery Corps and Military Police in the West Bank, as well as operating the Spike (Tammuz) missile and the Skylark drone.

[Photo: Emanuele Giaufret / Twitter ]