The Israeli government's new Gender Equality committee met for the first time Sunday.
The committee chairwoman, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli (Labor) opened Sunday's meeting saying: “We are beginning with big news – a budget of 155 million shekels to put into action the plans, that have been talked about so much, to combat violence against women. It’s about time we moved from talking about it to just doing it.”
At the beginning of her remarks, the minister spoke about the terror attack in Jerusalem: “Firstly, I would like to send condolences to the family of Eliyahu Kay who was killed today in the dreadful terrorist attack in Jerusalem, and to send our wishes for the recovery of those injured and their families. I have faith that the security forces and minister of public security will do everything to investigate what happened, and of course the men and women of the Israel Police who were on the scene. May this be the last such event.”
On the first meeting of the gender equality committee: “I am happy, proud and excited to open this first meeting of the gender equality ministerial committee. It is wonderful to see the change even in its name – from advancing the role of women in Israeli society, to promoting gender equality, until we dared say it out loud – the ministerial committee for gender equality.”
“Congratulations to former MK Limor Livnat, who was the first to establish it, and to former MK and minster Yuli Tamir, who also headed it. We have a commitment to this committee. We have come a very long way in awareness and now is the time to move to far more effective action.”
"We begin this new era with the big news that there is a budget of 155 million shekels to put into action the plans, that have been talked about so much, to combat violence against women. It’s about time we moved from talking about it to just doing it.”
“The aim of this ministerial committee, and for this meeting in particular, is to update each other on the current status and to ensure that we begin to work together, across all ministries, to begin to eliminate violence against women, which is a terrible thing. We must say clearly that violence against women is not something that just between ‘him’ and ‘her’. It is an issue between us as as Israeli society, the State of Israel and ‘him’ – in law enforcement and rehabilitation and treatment, and between us as a society and a state and ‘her’, and the children, to treat, protect, support and ensure that it does not happen again. That is what we came to do, and we are all absolutely committed to it and will continue to do so from here on.”
“More good news from here today is that I am happy that Minister Gideon Sa’ar and I have agreed – and this is something that the Minister for Social Equality has worked hard on – is that we will put forward legislation as soon as possible to finally recognize economic abuse. We will take steps to prevent it because it is time that it was legislated. It is not a matter of opinion; it is not something that happens accidentally. It is simply violence and is prohibited, even if it is carried out through economic means.”
"From here on, we need to put the 155 million shekels to use in treatment, education, law enforcement – all those things that will stop this dreadful violence and will allow us to move towards equality and life without violence."