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International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year.

Although Israel is a democracy and known for its advanced legislation in regard to the Status of

Women, there is still much to do to promote gender equality.

As a social women’s movement and in the spirit of our Founder Rebecca Sieff , WIZO continues to advance the legal, professional and social status of women. They mark the International Women’s day with events that raise more awareness and draw more attention to urgent issues on the agenda.

This year in addition to the traditional Award of Shame for sexist advertisement, WIZO Israel will be holding an event on 7 March 2016 titled “A Harassed Society” to lead an in-depth public debate into the various aspects of sexual harassment. It will include three sessions:

The Judicial Voice ?

Judicial standards as opposed to moral standards – the significance of using the social networks alongside law enforcement and the judicial system.

“Worth Harassment”

Models and presentations of women in the media that create an atmosphere that allows an offensive attitude towards women.

Publication – view the entry “social responsibility”

The social responsibility to break the code of silence and treat events of sexual harassment

Over the past year we have been exposed to a large number of serious cases of sexual harassment in the working place, especially in the military, the police, the theatre and the media.

It is shocking that even today, women still find it hard to approach the courts and in many cases the statute of limitations has expired or the deadline for filing a lawsuit has passed, before they can find the mental and emotional strength to take action.

There is a growing number of women who prefer to air their allegations through social networks rather than go to the authorities. In many cases, after one women exposes her trauma, others speak up against the same aggressor.

Another issue on the agenda is surrogacy.  In 1996, the Israeli government legalized gestational surrogacy under the Embryo Carrying Agreements Law. This law made Israel the first country in the world to legalize state-supervised surrogacy and allows only heterosexual couples to enter into an agreement with a surrogate mother. The law excludes single men or women and same-sex couples. Twenty years on they are hoping to change the law to include them.

On 10 March 2016, WIZO Israel will be conducting a session within the framework of the 4th Annual Tel Aviv International Surrogacy and Infertility Conference – planned to help both gay and straight prospective parents, covering primarily surrogacy opportunities in the USA, Israel, Canada and Eastern Europe. The session will focus on the mental, religious, legal and ethical aspects of surrogacy. Please see an excerpt from the conference website featuring WIZO.

The 4th International Surrogacy and Infertility Conference in Israel, March 10-11, 2016

Our 2016 Israeli conference will be held at the Dan Panorama Tel Aviv hotel on March 10-11, 2016,

with March 12 as optional day for consultations. The conference is planned to help both gay and straight prospective parents, covering primarily surrogacy opportunities in the USA, Israel, Canada and Eastern Europe. This year, in addition to moving to a larger venue and hiring a professional medical conference production team, we also added two major partners: WIZO, Israel’s leading women’s organization, and CHEN L’Piryon, Israel’s fertility advocacy association. Alongside the Israeli Gay Father’s Association, this impressive alliance is collaborating on content development and outreach, and we are confident that together we will create the most comprehensive conference on surrogacy ever offered in Israel. Proceeds from sponsorship and exhibiting fees will benefit the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP), earmarked for Israeli parents, and WIZO’s ‘Pundak’ project for the advancement of surrogacy.

Esther Mor, President, World WIZO

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