Israeli Feminist Conference

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL—The relationship between feminism and Judaism, the role of women in the Israeli army, the recent growth of pornography in Israel and the conflict between the need to develop one’s personal identity and the belief that “motherhood is a national duty”—were among many controversial issues explored by the more than 500 women attending the Fourth National Israeli Feminist Conference held here last June.

The delegates, representing diverse feminist groups and projects throughout Israel, passed resolutions supporting equal pay for equal work, the legalization of abortion and legislation permitting civil marriage in Israel. On the other hand, they rejected proposals expressing “solidarity with women in the world, especially women in El Salvador, Ireland and Poland who are fighting for a free and just society,” as well as a proposal calling for cooperation between Palestinian and Jewish women.

While few united lobbying efforts were expected to emerge from the Conference, one of its organizers concluded that it was a “success because a consensus was derived from the participants on certain issues.” In addition, the delegates laid plans for the strengthening of existing feminist projects in Israel, and the creation of new groups where necessary.