400 supporters came together for the UIA VIC Women’s Division Supper on Wednesday 22 March to celebrate powerful women and heard from guest speakers Ayelet Shaked and Liat Shaked.
In 2017 and 2018, Former Minister of Justice and Interior, Ayelet Shaked was named by Forbes Magazine as Israel’s most influential woman. Shaked described her greatest influence over during her term as the pride of balancing the supreme court by nominating four conservative judges, resulting in a far more balanced system even today. As Minister of Interior, Shaked put a lot of effort into building new villages in the south of Israel, helping to establish 14 new communities in the Negev.
When asked what can be done about the drop in the number of women elected to the Knesset in the last election, Gender Equality Activist and CEO of Supersonas, Liat Shaked suggested that “our society needs us women in decision-making levels. Until CEOs, companies and boards make the decision for us, we as women need to step up. We need to encourage one another, network, make sure we are always advancing and moving forward because the world needs us.”
Elissa Sharp, Co-chair of the UIA Victoria Women's Division said that, "Shockingly, Israel has one of the largest gaps between rich and poor in OECD countries. One in every three children fall within this category – that’s over 1 million children. This stark reality has led to one of Israel’s greatest social challenges - the high number of children at risk. As such, we are proud to introduce you to our new UIA Women’s Division project, Heartbeats."
Heartbeats is an early intervention program that supports babies at risk over the first 1000 days of their life, and their parents. A child’s formative years are a critical time when they develop their cognitive, motor, language, social and emotional abilities. Heartbeats offers parents - many who have been referred by welfare services - the support that they need in these early stages of their child’s life.
Located in 11 locations around Israel’s periphery, this unique program is already helping over 600 families, and the need is nowhere near being met. The ultimate goal is that, with the right early intervention, children in the program will require less, or no further, interventions as they continue to develop.
"The strength and support of the women in our community reinforces the foundations of Jewish life, and advances the values of social justice and democracy. Our goal is to be the charity of choice for Jewish women in Australia, by creating engagement through compelling and strong relationships, hosting events with inspiring speakers, and offering meaningful leadership opportunities," said Amanda Smorgon, Co-chair of the UIA Victoria Women's Division.