"Women” is not a homogeneous and uni-dimensional category. The IWN volunteers’ and board members' in-depth knowledge of the variety of identities women in Israel hold and the challenges they face, along with understanding the means by which they face inequality, steered the selection of the IWN’s principal issues.
Two Principal Issues were chosen for the IWN’s tri-yearly plan – the first is Creating a Feminist Vision of the Labor Market – a field which necessitates creative, groundbreaking thought to stop its current stagnation. The second is Women’s Exclusion, an issue growing in its impact on the lives of women in Israel and one which has yet to be adequately recognized and acknowledged – publicly, institutionally and legally.
The IWN will operate in two main channels: the first will be research aimed at identifying and mapping out fundamental issues through exploration of the relevant fields locally and internationally; based on this, models for legislation and policy will be constructed. The IWN sees itself as operating in a large arena, deviating from the standard model of many human rights organizations which tend to focus on legislation and precedents. The second Channel is Activism, focusing on creating social change in education, legislation, public awareness, media and politics. In both channels, the IWN will work both directly and in cooperation with other social and Women’s organizations. As a leading and central organization, the IWN will provide knowledgeable information and be at the service of other organizations, policy makers and the public.
As an Activist Think Tank, the IWN will employ three paid teams: Research, Legal, and Communications. Members of management will volunteer in accompanying the professional teams. To assure optimal professional and sustained activity, the entire organization – paid and volunteer workers – will be managed by a paid CEO. The IWN will not run the entirety of the research; however, it will operate to promote research in its areas of interest by awarding grants, cooperating with the Office of the Chief Scientist and taking other action.
Tri-Yearly Plan (2017-2020)
The tri-yearly plan will focus on two core fundamental issues with broad implications:
- Feminist Vision of the Labor Market
The feminist revolution has numerous achievements to its name, however, one of its main failures was the inclusion of women into the workforce without enhancing men’s role in the household. As a result, women continue to carry most of the burden of parenthood and housework, thereby hindering their ability to incorporate within the labor market. This is currently one of the major obstacles in achieving equal opportunities for men and women. Despite the field being rich with research and activity, the IWN recognizes a lack of a meta-perspective, and has therefore chosen to take on the creation of a multi-dimensional vision of a different labor market. This vision includes equal parenting, acknowledging worker’s poverty, sectoral and gender pay gaps, pensions, enforcement of rest and work hours, etc., with the aim of creating a fairer and more beneficial labor market for women, men, and children.
- Exclusion of Women
During the past decade a threat has re-emerged against female participation in almost all areas: the street, the workplace, culture, sports, academia, the services sector and of course – the military. Despite the majority of the Israeli public’s lack of awareness of these phenomena, they dramatically affect the Israel society by creating an institutionalized reality of women’s discrimination and ostracization. We see women’s exclusion as the most immediate and egregious current threat to women’s equality in Israel. The IWN will develop the judicial, political and social language and tools to operate against Women’s Exclusion. The activity in this field will be done with the inclusion of the perspectives and voices of religious and Arabic women.