International Women’s Day

8 March 2023

Imagine a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. Imagine a world that is equitable and inclusive.  Imagine a world where difference is valued and celebrated. Imagine a gender equal world!  

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women and their increasing visibility. It is a day to reflect on the progress made by women, their acts of courage and determination and to highlight those who have played an extraordinary role in their communities. WIZO South Africa celebrates all women, in all their diversities irrespective of faith, race, ethnicity, gender or disability.

This day calls for action in accelerating women’s equality and raises awareness for the discrimination of women. It also brings attention to violence and abuse against women.

This year, the United Nations theme for International Women’s Day is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.

Our lives depend on strong technological integration as most things go through a digital process.  This theme aims to recognise and celebrate the contribution women are making to technology and as a result in online education.

So how does this affect our WIZO?  We at WIZO build shelters for abused women, creating a space of safety for them as they attempt to escape the horrors of gender-based violence.  Our NEVE WIZO houses of safety provide everything that they need as they take the time to recover and heal in a loving and warm environment.  WIZO plays a significant role in nurturing, encouraging and educating these women so that they can once again become upstanding citizens of Israeli society. 

While innovation has the power to transform lives, we are all aware that there are still many barriers to equality of men and women. By ensuring equal access to education and digital technologies for women and girls, they are given the opportunity to better themselves and thereafter productively contribute to the economy. 

In our NEVE WIZO house of safety these women are given this chance to close the digital divide that keeps them offline and away from new opportunities.  Here they can innovate and ready themselves so that they can support themselves in the world of work.  WIZO has then, in this manner, been successful in empowering these women so that they may lead a new life of hope and independence once leaving the shelters.

Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO) are making a genuine difference in the lives of the most vulnerable by promoting the ideal of equality for all and is blessed to be part of something so special and so powerful. 

International Women’s Day is a day to recognise how far we’ve progressed towards gender equality and also how far we still have to go.  WIZO reminds everyone that women aren’t going anywhere and that we are prepared to take action to help and assist those who need it the most.

This is why we stand with WIZO.  WIZO stands up for Israeli women and for those in need.  WIZO stands with women that are in abusive relationships and are a product of domestic violence by providing them shelter from immediate danger. We help women whose self-esteem has been lowered and create supportive communities to empower them.  WIZO helps families rebuild their lives by aiding women who have been isolated from loved ones or have been controlled by others.  By providing these women houses of safety, WIZO offers them the opportunity to better themselves through education. That is why The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day “DigitALL” is so apt as it provides these women with innovation, technology and the skills to move on up in Israeli society.

World WIZO has dedicated International Women’s Day to Motherhood and all its challenges as it is intertwined with our work and areas of influence in Israeli society. WIZO founded the first Tipat Chalav (mother and baby health centes) and established WIZO day care centres as a great solution that allows mothers to integrate into the labour market. WIZO has also created dozens of programs and activities assisting, empowering and guiding mothers. Here we can see how both these themes tie so well into International Women’s Day. 

On International Women’s Day, World WIZO is raising awareness about motherhood and the rights of mothers in Israeli society.  They have conducted a survey entitled “What Do Mothers Want?”  This will reveal the motherhood crisis in Israel 2023.  Stay tuned for some interesting results…

On International Women’s Day we remember that as long as one woman faces discrimination, harassment, inequality or oppression, we all do.   

All of us need to help forge positive change for women, challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias and seek out inclusion.

WIZO South Africa celebrates the role of women in our world and is committed to gender equality.  Together and collectively, we can all embrace equity and break the bias!