The Cabinet, at its weekly meeting today approved a national plan to advance gender equality and instill gender awareness in the work of government ministries in order to promote equality between men and women in Israel.
According to the decision, the name of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women will be changed to the Authority for the Advancement of Gender Equality, and its organizational structure will be changed accordingly. The Authority will work to advance equality between men and women in several areas: In the planning and policy sphere, the Authority will lead processes for setting policy on gender equality in the public and private sectors, promote relevant legislation, and initiate inter-ministerial projects in conjunction with academia and civil society. In the training, guidance and gender awareness information sphere, the Authority will work toward organizational culture and language so as to instill gender awareness, make information about itself more accessible to the public, oversee international ties in the field and raise awareness in order to prevent sexual harassment. In the sphere on advancing equal representation, preventing discrimination and strengthening women, the Authority will work to advance equal representation for women in all aspects of life and to prevent any kind of discrimination or segregation in public life, including carrying out various activities to strengthen women and deal with women in various population groups.
Also according to the decision, instilling gender awareness will be carried out in the 2015 working plans. Ministers will, on International Women’s day, present annual reports on the advancement of gender equality in their ministries. In order to assist the various ministries, the Authority will prepare a training plan on instilling gender equality to the ministry director generals and will place advisers and experts at their disposal.
It was also decided that the Authority, in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s Office socio-economic staff, will establish an inter-ministerial team to formulate a comprehensive action plan on promoting gender equality. The team will deal with instilling gender awareness in decision-making; giving women equal opportunities in all aspects of life, such as employment, the economy, education, health and social welfare; strengthening personal security for women and protecting them from all types of violence; and promoting representation for women from various population groups in the public and private sectors. The team, led by Authority Director Vered Swid and composed of ministry director generals, will submit a five year plan including goals, tools for its implementation and timetables.
Authority for the Advancement of Gender Equality Director Swid said, "The Government has done much in this field and it is possible to see the results. This is an additional achievement in the gender revolution. The decision that was approved today will allow us to continue advancing gender equality in both the intermediate and long terms. Thus we will be able to implement the UN decision on integrating women in decision-making and instilling gender equality in all aspects of life and on representing women from various population groups in the public and private sectors. In the future, training on instilling gender awareness will be given to ministry director generals, agency heads and senior division managers in government ministries."