The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is sending a delegation to the fifty-fifth session of the United Nations’ Commission on Status of Women (CSW), which will take place between February 22 and March 4 at UN headquarters in New York. This year the commission will focus on the inclusion of women in education and science, and increasing their access to the workplace.
Members of the Israeli delegation include: Adv. Tziona Koenig-Yair, Commissioner of Equal Opportunities in the Workplace of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron, President of the Open University, Prof. Miriam Erez, Head of the Faculty of Engineering and Industry at the Technion and chairperson of the National Commission for the Advancement of Women in Science and Technology, Ms. Mazal Renford, manager of the Carmel Center, the Golda Meir International Training Center, Ms. Ilana Ravid, supervisor of the status of women at the MFA and Ms. Marina Rosenberg, of the MFA’s Division for International Organizations. In addition, delegates from Israeli women’s organizations (WIZO, the Council of Women’s Organizations) will attend.
The delegation members will participate in five central panels, and will also host a special event in cooperation with the International Organization of Migration (IOM) on the topic “Can education and training create a dignified workplace.”
During the session, the new UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, headed by the former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, will be launched.
The MFA has been active during the past few years at the UN and around the world in increasing Israel’s involvement in the empowerment of women. This is Israel’s second year of membership in UN’s Commission on Status of Women and is active in UNWOMEN as well. Israel has significantly increased its annual donation to the sum of $ 250,000.
The official Israeli speech will be made this year by Adv. Tziona Koenig-Yair. She will emphasize Israel’s commitment to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women as a basic right, as an effective tool in the struggle against poverty, hunger and disease, and in encouraging sustainable development.
In addition, Ms. Koenig-Yair will note that during the past decade public awareness as well as efforts to promote women in Israel have grown considerably. Several committees have been established to centralize the issue of gender equality and to position the discussion on the promotion of women at the top of the national agenda.
The Commission for Equal Opportunities in the Workplace was established in 2008. Since then, it has handled some 1300 applications, 787 of which were from women; The commission has filed 17 claims of discrimination in the Labor Court, 11 of which were on behalf of women, and has published 14 legal opinions, 8 of which were in regard to discrimination against women. In addition, the commission holds intensive training seminars with employers on the implementation of equal opportunities and prevention of discrimination.