The State of Israel works with UN Women to promote women’s advancement around the world.

Israel’s support of women’s rights is unique in the region, making its partnership with the United Nation’s main women’s rights and gender equality body (UN Women) a natural alliance.

Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Kenya between UN Women and Mashav, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation. The agreement promotes training women in aggro-technology and aggro-business and establishing an African center to help women excel in these fields. Representatives of UN Women, which increases opportunities for women in developing countries in an attempt to eradicate gender-based discrimination, are impressed by what Israel offers their mission.

“Since its establishment, the State of Israel has been known as a pioneer in the field of advancing women’s equality,” says Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. “Israel’s influence in a prominent international body in the field is necessary because the issue of women’s status is a main policy issue for us and because Israel’s contribution to such a body from its inception could be considerable for the countries of the world.”

Domestically, Israel is considered a pioneer in women’s rights, with an unprecedented number of women presently serving in the Israeli Knesset. Women currently head three of its political parties, which recalls Israel’s selection of Golda Meir as its first female prime minister in 1969. Furthermore, not only have women been serving in the Israel Defense Forces since the country was established, Israel is the only country on the planet to conscript both men and women.

The State of Israel isn’t limited to promoting gender equality domestically. The Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID has been at the forefront of promoting gender equality within South Sudan by combating gender-based violence, while Mashav has programs promoting women’s education, leadership, and entrepreneurship across the globe.

Knesset Member Gila Gamliel stressed that Israel’s involvement with UN Women contributes to a positive image of the Jewish state and may help block attempts to delegitimize Israel within the UN. “Israel is among the world leaders in advancing the status of women,” Gamliel notes. “So it would be important to stress this fact in order to improve its international standing.”



By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel