By Avital Nir, advisor for the Advancement of Women in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council.
On March 8 people from all over the world mark International Women's Day. On this day we express our respect, esteem, and appreciation for women and acknowledge their social, cultural, public, economic, and scientific achievements.
That said, we must also note that despite all the progress that's been made, there remain gender gaps between women and men in the areas of equal pay, holding influential positions, and women's status in the employment world.
So what about us?
We have two forums that operate regularly throughout the year in Sha'ar Hanegev: The Women Directors forum and the forum of Women Residents. Both deal with issues related to the advancement of women, both in status and in women's presence in key areas of activity. Numerous partners share in this undertaking—the Regional Council planning team, the Department of Sports, the Young Adults Center, the Business and Initiatives Unit, the college's Feminist Forum and others.
International Women's Day kicked off on a pleasant morning, with a combined lecture-presentation for all of the Regional Council's women employees on the topic of health and nutrition. In the evening we went to the Cinematheque to view Suffragettes, a moving film dealing with the historical status of women. The film was followed immediately by a fascinating panel discussion.
In the area of sports there were two events honoring women: Sha'ar Hanegev hosted games of the Women's Volleyball League – Southern Region as well as a winter gymnastics event that included the participation of some 250 women gymnasts.
The Young Adults Center invited the public to meet with media personality and researcher Dr. Liad Mudrik. On Saturday, March 19, we gathered at the school to take part in workshops focusing on women's entrepreneurship and arts. Finally, in the last week of March, the regional Women's Forum gathered with orthodox women from Yakhini to attend an evening dealing with the topic of 'What motivates each one of us?' I wish all of us continued engagement in encouraging women's activity, prosperity, health, happiness and growth—in all life areas.