Greetings of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women, Deputy Minister Gila Gamliel
The world of creation opens a fascinating window to the world and point of view of women, and grants us with another tool to advance equality between genders. I believe with all my heart that only women empowerment and equal representation in influential institutions can diminish the gender gaps in Israeli society, remove barriers, break the glass ceiling in all domains and thus build an equal, strong and successful Israel.
How appropriate it is that the International Women's Film Festival takes place in Rehovot, that for its 120th anniversary celebrations chose to commemorate its women founders. In the frame of the “Founders Projects”, a joint initiative of the municipality of Rehovot, the “Women in the Picture” association and the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women in the Prime Minister's Office, streets would be called after women who took part in the building of the city. The festival is the kick-off of this project.
This year the festival deals with women who reside in constant conflict areas and challenges us with problems women confront in such areas. Women in every culture face challenges and need to fight to keep their status, let alone in conflict regions, such as the Middle East and the Balkans. This is also true in cultures where the status of women is lesser than usual, where they are victims to men's aggression, seeking confirmation of their own status.
I salute the festival on its seventh year, that as every other year, sheds light on a contemporary essential issue and grants a stage for unique voices, which are not heard in Israeli and international daily discourse. I wish the festival would open the door for more women filmmakers and would challenge the artistic community to find them a place within it.
Special felicitations to Anat Shperling Cohen and her team, that together with the Mayor of Rehovot, Rahamim Maloul, envisioned and executed the idea of the International Women's Film Festival, an enterprise of originality, boldness and charm.
I wish all the guests great enjoyment.
Deputy Minister for the Advancement of Young People, Students and Women