Twenty Years after Beijing in Israel: An Intersectional Approach
In this paper, applying an intersectional approach, I analyze , how, following the Beijing Platform for Action (PFA), gender (in)equality , has been advanced among different /hierarchized groups of Israeli women .
My paper, based on data from the U.N., the Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel and the Israeli NGOs’ sites and publications, is divided into four parts.
I first document the positive changes that have occurred in the position of Israeli women in the last two decades and their reflection in the 2014 Gender Development Index, where Israel is ranked 19th.
I then point out to the fact that the highly NGOized feminist movement in Israel, in order to promote the PFA, mostly engaged in feminism training and/or academic and/or cyber feminism , addressing international law , state feminism and political parties - practices chiefly tailored for 'urban white middle-class women'.
Further, referring to the ethnic and socio economic divide between the geographical center and the geographical periphery in Israel, I emphasize the fact that women at the center of Israel ("The Tel-Aviv Bubble"), mostly Ashkenazi, have made much more significant steps toward gender equality than those at the country's geographical periphery, where Mizrahi and Arab women together with immigrant women from the Former Soviet Union or Ethiopia are over-represented. I also draw attention to the fact that basic rights of non-citizens, migrant women or refugees, have been frequently ignored.
As a conclusion, I argue that intersectionality , by making women's social locations and experiences visible, acts as a theoretical and methodological corrective against hegemonic discourses and appears as a prerequisite to advance the human rights of (all) women.