The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a delegation to New York to represent the State of Israel at the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
(CSW). Taking place from February 27 - March 9, 2012, the Commission will focus this year on the theme of "the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges." The delegation will be hosted by Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor.
The Israel Foreign Ministry has been working in recent years to increase Israel's involvement in the UN's global agenda, particularly in the areas of women empowerment and sustainable development
, in which Israel's efforts have won recognition, in Africa and elsewhere.
The Israeli delegation to the CSW annual meeting is comprised of the following senior government officials and NGO representatives: Adv. Himmat Younis. Coordinator of Minority Sectors, Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women at the Prime Minister's Office; Leah Aharonov, President of the Council of Women's Organizations in Israel (NGO); Adv. Tziona Koening-Yair, National Commissioner of Equal Employment Opportunities at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor; Ilana Ravid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Representative in Charge of the Status of Women; Mazal Rendford, Director of the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center and representative of Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV
); and Marina Rosenberg, Deputy-Director of the International Organizations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The delegation will participate in the five main panels dealing with the priority theme, in addition to the review theme, "Financing for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women."
In addition, on February 28, the delegation will co-host a special side event in cooperation with Italy and Senegal on "Rural Women: From Vulnerability to Sustainability." This informational event will bring attention to the challenges faced by rural women, highlighting grassroots capacity programs that promote their empowerment and economic development. A series of agriculture and economic development programs implemented jointly by the Senegalese, Israeli and Italian governments will be presented, including the Israeli TIPA program
(Techno Agriculture Innovation for Poverty Alleviation) - an advanced eco-friendly drip irrigation system.
The Foreign Ministry together with Authority of the Advancement of Women in the Prime Minister's Office have in recent years significantly increased Israel's involvement in the advancement of the status of women at the United Nations and around the world. As an active member of the new UNWOMEN organization
, Israel has increased its annual voluntary contributions to $250,000. Israel is committed to promoting gender equality and women's empowerment as a fundamental human right, an effective tool to combat poverty, hunger, disease, and to encourage sustainable development.
In the past decade Israel has greatly increased public awareness and efforts to promote the advancement of women in the country, and has established a number of frameworks to ensure that the subject of gender equality remains a central topic on the national agenda.