The Kol Hanashim Women's Party did not, alas, make it into the Knesset, but we certainly made waves.
With a diverse list of women -- Jewish, Muslim and Christian; from North, Center and South; religious and non-religious, immigrants and veterans; young mothers, single women and grandmothers; able and disabled; straight and LGBT; women of all shapes and sizes -- we succeeded in doing what no other party in Israel has ever done. We managed to bring together members of all communities and backgrounds and prove that what unites us is greater than what divides us. Rather than continue to construct Israeli society on the basis of 'right-left' or 'Bibi-Not-Bibi', we came together to demonstrate that there are other social lines in Israeli society. There are those who believe in women's leadership and those who don't. And those with insight and vision realize that there is only one way to the future.
It's true that we got only 2777 votes, very far from what we needed to get into the Knesset. It is also true that we created our party only 87 days before the election and that this was a bit of a pipe dream to think that we could go from unknown to victory in such a short time. It is also true that we faced many cultural, social, and financial challenges -- some of which we anticipated and some of which we did not. More on this to come.
However, all that said, I think we built a good basis for the future. We are just gettin' warmed up.
I would also add that the fact that many talking heads are currently noticing the absence of women in leadership, that there are articles about it in the mainstream media tells us that we are onto something.
And an interesting tidbit: We actually received votes in over 1200 towns -- in 800 we received one vote. This tells me that our message got around. And also, that our supporters are people who often stand alone. I have more thoughts about this, about the loneliness of feminists in their communities. For a future blog post.
Here are a few links to our English language media appearances, so you can learn more about us and what we are trying to do:
Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman is a feminist thought-leader, anthropologist, and writer whose research and ideas help shape a vision for a compassionate society. She has published five books on gender in society, and today helps women amplify their own voices and find their power through Lioness Booksand Media. She coaches women through the writing process, edits, and ghost-writes women's books, and publishes women's writing through Lioness. She also speaks and consults with groups and organizations around the world on gender issues and women's experiences in the world. Would you like to schedule a chat? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org