8 March 2017
On Monday, March 6th, we marked this year's International Women's Day at our annual WIZO Conference, where we highlighted the theme of "equality".
I was delighted to welcome a long list of distinguished guests, including former Minister for Education, Media, Sports and Culture Limor Livnat, Lieutenant Colonel Orit Tetersky, and Rabbi David Stav, Chairperson of Tzohar organization, which has thousands of rabbis and women volunteers who work to bridge the gaps between religious and secular Jews in Israel.
Each of these esteemed panelists brought their own perspective and views in various fields, whether through the eyes of the state, the IDF or the religious community.
When I took the stand, I spoke in the name of generations of WIZO women who took part in a century-old journey of equality.
For in the name of equality, Zionist women achieved at the second Jewish Congress in Basel in 1898 what few if any had achieved at the time – the right to vote! This was a historic and international achievement. Zionist women, some of whom would later become WIZO members, were allowed to vote (and be elected) before other women could in any European parliament at the time.
In the name of equality, Zionist Jewish women founded WIZO in 1920 in order to ensure that women will take an active and key role in realizing the Zionist dream. WIZO founder Rebecca Sieff, and her peers, envisioned this new women's organization as a platform to empower women and help them to become the leaders who will shape the character and future of the Jewish state as an advanced and equal society.
In the name of equality, we Zionist women from Israel and from around the world join hand in hand to continue this journey that was started more than a century ago.
I am proud that WIZO events like the one we held last Monday highlight the central role WIZO has and continues to play in the advancement of women's rights and in championing the equality of rights between men and women.
This journey is a daily journey which begins in our Day Care Centers and runs throughout all of our services and projects.
I want to thank each Chavera, volunteer and staff member for being part of this journey. Together, we continue to champion women's rights 365 days a year.
With warmest wishes,
Prof. Rivka Lazovsky,
Chairperson, World WIZO