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Israelis prepare for Elimination of Violence against Women Day

The event is being organized by several women’s organizations including the Tel Aviv Women’s Crisis Support Center.
Activities to mark this year´s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women will culminate in a women’s march beginning at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Sunday evening.

The march will kick off at 6:30 p.m., and participants will march toward the Cinematheque Plaza where the annual protest rally will take place.The rally will be hosted by journalist Einat Fishbein, and will include singers Esther Rada and Yossi Tsabari. Participants will wear pink hats, as a symbol of protest against violence against women.

The hats are in the style of the Pussyhat Projects hats, which were launched on November 23, 2016 to mark the Women’s March on Washington. The hats are handmade with “cat ears” and serve as a symbol of support of women’s rights.

Already on Thursday, women gathered to begin knitting hats together with the women of the Kuchinate, the African Refugee Women’s Collective, who make a living from crocheting baskets and hosting visitors at their studio in south Tel Aviv.

The event is being organized by several women’s organizations including the Tel Aviv Women’s Crisis Support Center; the Israel Women’s Network; the Feminine Spirit; Na’amat and the Women’s Counseling Center. The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality is also supporting the march.

Miriam Scheller, director of the Tel Aviv Assistance Center, noted that over the past five years the number of calls to help centers has risen by 53%. “But, as is all too common, 84% of the sexual abuse and sexual harassment cases are not prosecuted. This year we are proud to cooperate with the women of Kuchinate, and to connect with the women of the entire world who say ‘no more.’” Women, she said, will take to the streets “to demand solutions.”Earlier this week, the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel released its annual report which found a significant increase in the number of sexual assault complaints. In 2017, the center received some 47,000 calls, marking an 11% increase in comparison with 2016, when there were 10,610 calls, and a 53% increase since five years ago, when that number was 7,701.

But as Scheller noted, according to prosecution data, of 4,816 cases of sexual abuse or harassment that were opened in 2017, 84% were closed and only 16% resulted in an indictment.

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