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  • Campaign for equal rights of Israeli women started Sunday.

    Campaign for equal rights of Israeli women started Sunday. | Photo: Twitter / @azariarachel

Published 5 March 2019

Israeli women launched a campaign for equal rights after conservatives defaced a poster of a woman mayoral candidate, showing the world that they are not as equal as the government preaches to be.

A section of Israel’s religious extremist ultra-Orthodox Jews defaced posters of a woman mayoral candidate, MK Rachel Azaria, resulting in the launch of a women’s rights campaign on buses.

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The campaign will run for two weeks with posters displayed on 50 buses. The posters have the title, “I have a dream”  to depict the dream of women in an equal society.

“I have a dream that there will no longer be any women denied a get,” reads one of the slogans which refers to the situation of women getting a divorce only if their husbands agree.

“I have a dream that a woman’s wage will match that of a man’s,” says another showing a photo of former education minister Limor Livnat.

A third one says, “I have a dream that every woman will feel safe in the public space” with a photo of Nili Phillip who led a campaign against Orthodox signs in Beit Shemesh that asked women to dress “modestly” and not to walk in some parts of town.

In July of last year, Azaria was running for mayor’s office when her posters were defaced by extremist misogynists in an Orthodox neighborhood.

While Israel has always maintained that they are champions of women rights and have often vilified Palestinians for not giving their women equal rights, this news shows another side.  

“The international community often likes to spin the issue with gendered violence in Palestine as if it's an "Arab problem" and Palestinian women need saving from Palestinian men. Such orientalist discourse propagates colonial views and white saviour-complex urges that are used to justify humanitarian interventionism. It is a frequently overlooked fact that Jewish women suffer from similar rates of gender-based violence within Israeli society,” Yara Hawari wrote for Al Jazeera in an article named “Patriarchy in Palestine.”

Azaria is happy “about embarking on a joint campaign in honor of International Women’s Day, a campaign that calls for making the dream a reality.”

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