Not submissive: On the women’s struggle in Israel
By Bambi sheleg | 20/05/2010
Israel's Declaration of Independence, the constitutive text of the Jewish state, proclaims unequivocally that “it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” Nevertheless, this noble assertion still obtains only partial realization in our day-to-day lives.
During the work on this issue, which focuses on the state of women in Israel today, dangers and opportunities, we discovered that if there is one characteristic that Israeli women share, it is the fact that they tend not to be passive.
The current issue does not purport to deal with all the subjects related to women in Israel. But the articles that appear in it position a two-way, and in my view, very powerful mirror of the reality faced by women today, which if we tried to sum up in just a few words, we would say that it contains suffering, struggle and progress. The situation is far from static. It is improving. It is slowly improving thanks to the local struggles being waged in a number of areas of life and among different types of communities, sometimes by individual women, sometimes by groups of women, and sometimes by groups of both men and women.
Especially fascinating in the struggle to change the status of women and their rights in Israel is the role of women who choose to fight for change within the world of tradition. This is an important phenomenon because these women are not divorcing themselves from the world in which they grew up; they are instead trying to reshape that world out of a deep sense of esteem for many of the values it contains.