The Blog

Latest Updates

WIZO Marks International Women's Day 2019

From a fascinating conference on Israeli women in politics to publishing their Glass Ceiling Index, WIZO marked and celebrated International Women's Day 2019 with several important initiatives and events

March 07, 2019

Intenational Women's Day Video

This special video was made in celebration of International Women's Day 2019.

From the moment a girl is born, as she grows into the woman she is meant to be, WIZO is with her every step of the way - embracing, educating, empowering.

WIZO's Glass Ceiling Index

In advance of International Women's Day, WIZO published their "Glass Ceiling Index" for 2019. The index reflects the extent of gender inequality in Israeli society in a variety of fields - women's representation in politics and government companies, academia, sports, the integration of women into the IDF, etc. The data was collected from state authorities, research institutes, organizations and various reports.

Here are some notable finidings from this year's Index:

  • Although women account for 47% of the labor force in Israel, they earned an average of 34% less than men.
  • In the outgoing Knesset, there were a record number of female Knesset members, 35, which constituted 28% of all MKs. 
  • In the academic field, there are nine university presidents currently in Israel, but not a single woman among them.
  • In Israeli sports, only 20% of athletes are women.
  • Five of the 17 judges serving in the Supreme Court (29.4%) are women.
  • On the positive side, the Israeli financial system is headed by six senior managers: the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel, the Supervisor of Banks, the Antitrust Commissioner and the Supervisor of the Capital Market and Insurance. In addition, three of the five largest banks are managed by women - Discount, Leumi and First International. 

Integration of Female Soldiers in the IDF

The Index reported that despite the opening of many roles to women and their integration into the combat system in recent years, there are still processes that impede the integration of women soldiers into a variety of positions and senior positions. Today, women in the IDF constitute 33% of all soldiers, they make up 8% of all combat soldiers, 36% of officers, 13% are of the rank of Colonel and above. In addition, for the first time a female squadron commander was appointed in the IDF, and two women were promoted to the rank of major general in the history of the IDF. 

Violence Against Women

In 2018, 26 women were murdered in Israel, the highest number in the past decade. According to a new study published by the World Economic Forum, Israel was ranked 46th out of 149 countries in terms of gender equality, first in the Middle East and North Africa


Israel Ranks 66th in the World

Under the category "Participation and Economic Opportunities," Israel was ranked 66th, with political empowerment at 48th place. However, under the category "Education Achievement", Israel was ranked first along with 24 other countries, including Australia, France and Brazil. 

"Despite significant achievements in recent decades, in Israel in 2018, gaps between the sexes are still prevalent, and they have costs, in the proportion of women in senior positions, in the integration and exclusion of female soldiers in the IDF, in harassment and violence," said World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky. "The struggle for equality is not only a matter of women, it is a social struggle that affects each and every one of us, the image and the improvement of the face of the entire society in the country. "

"Polite Women Don't Do Politics?!" - WIZO's Israel's Annual International Women's Day Conference

Hundreds gathered at Cinema City in Ramat Hasharon on Wednesday March 6th for WIZO Israel's annual International Women's Day Conference entitled:"Polite Women Don't Do Politics." The event focused on Israeli women and politics from the establishment of the State of Israel up until the present day, a month away from the next Knesset election.

First Prof. Rivka Lazovsky - Chairperson of World WIZO and Gila Oshrat Chairperson of WIZO Israel, delivered their opening remarks. Then a special award was presented to outgoing MK Dov Khenin for being the MK who promoted the most laws for the benefit of women in the current Knesset. 


MK Dov Khenin (left) with Eti Burkin, Chairperson of WIZO's Advancement of Women Division

Dr. Sharon Geva then delivered a lecture on "The History of Women in the Knesset - and what we can learn from it". She was followed by Dr. Sigal Barak Brandes who spoke about "Media-News-Politics in the Age of Social Meda and Fake News".

The highlight of the morning session was a lively panel dicussion entitled "Someone to Run with Me" which featured four female MKs: Revital Swid, Aliza Lavie, Meirav Ben-Ari and Michal Rozin. The panel was moderated by Israeli journalist Nechama Duek who asked the panelists about the challenges of being a female MK and their goals going forward.


Left to right: Moderator Nechama Duek, MK Meirav Ben-Ari, MK Michal Rozin, MK Revital Swid, MK Aliza Lavie

To further illustrate the difficulties women have in seeking acceptance in male dominated work places, in between the sessions the orgainizers of the conference, WIZO Israel's Division for the Advancement of Women, showed the new Pixar animated short "Purl". "Directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan, it features an earnest ball of yarn named Purl who gets a job in a fast-paced, high energy, all male company. She tries hard to fit in, but how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for, and in the end, is it worth it? 

The conference concluded with a special showing of the new feature film based on the early years of the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, "On the Basis of Sex".

The Shame List: WIZO Ranks the Year's Most Sexist Commercials

As it has done each year for over a decade, WIZO created and publicized "The Shame List" a ranking of the most sexist and chauvinist commercials in Israel of the year as chosen by a professional committee of experts on gender and media, academics, journalists and legal experts. The purpose of the initiative is to raise awareness to gender-bias and negative representation of women and their bodies in media, and to bring about a change in the way women are represented in commercial media.

The top spot went to a controversial Castro ad entitled "Where is the dress from?" in which TV actress Rotem Sela is shown kidnapping, robbing, murdering and burying the body of a young woman who refused to tell her where she bought her dress. The ad garnered so many complaints that it was barred from airing on Israeli television by Israel’s TV authority.


Rotem Sela in the Castro TV ad

Read more about WIZO's 2018 Shame List, including the ads rated most sexist of the decade, in this article in the Jerusalem Post: 

WIZO Israel Chairperson Gila Oshrat said in a statement, "We hope that the advertising market will adopt a higher level of self-regulation to prevent sexist advertising, which no longer has any place in our lives."