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November 20, 1992 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Network Sets
Women's Issues

New York (JTA) — The
Israel Women's Network
published a directory last
June of organizations offer-
ing services to women.
It was designed to be ac-
cessible to every woman in
Israel —natives and new
immigrants alike.
The listing of 81 groups
was printed in easy, voweled
Hebrew, with its index
printed in Russian, Amharic
and Arabic — perfect for use
in the country's absorption
centers.
But the Ministry of Ab-
sorption and the Jewish
Agency refused to distribute
it, saying they were not in-
terested, according to Alice
Shalvi, chairwoman of the
network.
So the network worked
around the obstacle.
Through the connections of
a board member who is a so-
cial worker, and publicity in
a Russian-language wo-
men's magazine, the net-
work got the directory
disseminated where it was
needed most.
It did not take long for the
6,000 copies to be snapped
up.
Demand was so great that
a second edition is now in
the works, with the addition
of an English-language in-
dex.
But the resistance the
network faced from the es-
tablishment came as no sur-
prise to Ms. Shalvi, the
doyenne of the Israeli fem-
inist movement.
Long-entrenched Israeli
attitudes toward women —
attitudes that exclude wo-
men from the national agen-
da — are slow to change, Ms.
Shalvi told the Jewish Tele-
graphic Agency recently
while on a speaking tour in
the United States.
But the process is evolv-
ing. It continues to require
strenuous effort to get
"women's" needs considered
by government and quasi-
government agencies and of-
ficials, but the issues are
gaining prominence on a
popular level.
Since founding the Israel
Women's Network in the
autumn of 1984, Ms. Shalvi
has witnessed what she de-
scribed as "a real change in
the climate of opinion," and
increased media coverage of
issues related to women's
status.
The group's goals are
focused around the edu-
cation and empowerment of
women across all strata of
Israeli society.

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71

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