Its 15 years of activity have brought Itach Ma'aki many diverse achievements.
List of major achievements:
The National Labor Court upheld the NGO's appeal and ruled that the shared household of a woman in a polygamous relationship will be assessed individually, when examining her eligibility for income support benefits.
Abu-Gabr 34391-08-11 Abu Jaber v. The National Insurance Institute – In 2016 the Association's appeal against the Regional Labor Court decision, which rejected the right of a woman living in a polygamous and violent marriage to receive income support, was granted.
The National Labor Court ruled that the reality of life in a polygamous and violent marriage, where one is under the constant threat of having to relinquish parental rights, should not be seen as the shared life of a couple living together. Therefore, the appellant is entitled to separate income support benefits.
Formulation of a comprehensive action plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, together with 30 civil society NGOs, and the advancement of a government decision on the subject.
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 promotes diverse representation of women in decision-making positions, protection of women from violence, implementation of gender analysis and gender mainstreaming, and the prevention of conflict.
Inspired by many countries worldwide that have advocated comprehensive action plans to implement these principles, the Association, together with dozens of women's organizations, drafted a comprehensive plan of action. Two years later, the plan was launched at a convention and was presented to the Government, Knesset members and ambassadors from all over the world.
In December 2014, following intensive efforts to advance the overall plan of action, the Israeli Government decided that the State will formulate a Governmental Action Plan. According to the Government's decision, the future plan will be based on global examples and the comprehensive plan of action drafted by the civil society.
Establishment of the National Alliance of Teaching Assistants to improve working conditions of municipal employed teaching assistants
The National Alliance of Teaching Assistants, with the aid of Itach-Ma'aki, has been waging a national struggle to change their job description and improve the terms of their employment, since the summer of 2011.
The National Alliance of Teaching Assistants (NATA) raises awareness of the struggle of teaching assistants through conferences, media reports, position papers, and Knesset education committee discussions. NATA enlists the support and involvement of Knesset members from the entire political spectrum, as well as parents' organizations, in order to increase teaching assistant salaries, end summer dismissal of special-needs and medical-needs teaching assistants, add a second assistant in kindergartens, and create a dialogue with senior officials in the Ministry of Education and the Center for Local Government.
Publication of the Conspiracy of Silence Report on Domestic Violence Against Bedouin Women in the Negev
In 2013, Itach Ma'aki published a groundbreaking report, which, for the first time, provides statistics on the extent of domestic violence against Bedouin women in the Negev. The report was based on a qualitative study, conducted in 2010, of a representative sample of 33 out of 2,000 Bedouin women who have approached the Association since 2006. According to the report, 86% of the Bedouin women surveyed had suffered violence of some form. Among other findings, the report exposes how the lack of enforcement of the criminal prohibition on polygamy is one of the factors that increases violence.
Equal terms of employment for kindergarten assistants working in recognized non-official institutions and for kindergarten assistants working in state-run institutions
In 2011, the Association filed lawsuits on behalf of women working in non-officially recognized kindergartens within the Ultra-Orthodox community for equal employment terms as those of women working in official State recognized kindergartens.
In view of the claims, the Regional Labor Court ruled that equal terms of employment are mandatory. The significance of the ruling is that it compensated the women for the terms of their employment up until the date of the ruling and provided an opening for additional teaching assistants to demand comparable conditions.
Statement of Claim
High Court of Justice revocation, following a petition against the National Insurance Institute, of a law prohibiting single mothers entitled to income support benefits from using/owning a car
TSJ 3282/05 Meirav Ben-Nun v NII -In 2005, Itach-Ma'aki filed a petition to the High Court of Justice on behalf of 5 single mothers against the National Insurance Institute policy and the Income Support Law, which denied income support due to use and/or ownership of a car. Following numerous hearings, in 2012, in an acclaimed final ruling by Supreme Court President, Justice Beinish, the High Court of Justice ruled that the law should be revoked because it restricted the right to minimum dignity of those living in poverty in Israel and that women who are eligible for income support should be permitted to own/use a car.
Creation of a unique model for promoting feminist leadership and legal discourse through the Clinic for Legal Feminism at the University of Haifa
The Women Mentoring Women Program at the Clinic for Legal Feminism was launched in 2005 and is unique in Israel. It started as a joint initiative of Itach-Ma'aki - Women Lawyers for Social Justice and the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa.
As part of the program, women and men from diverse communities (ethnic, national, sexual, geographic, etc.), learn legal topics relating to broad women's issues to become "mentors of rights" for the rights of women in their communities, with the participation of students of the Haifa University Faculty of Law. As part of our participation in the program, after receiving appropriate training, together with the law students and mentors of rights, we worked in the field as agents of social change.
The program was closed in 2015.
.Succesful implementation of Section 6c1 of the Women’s Equal Rights law, which requires female representatives from diverse backgrounds in public bodies
HCJ 5660/10 Itach-Ma'aki v Prime Minister
In 2010, Itach-Ma'aki petitioned the High Court of Justice against the Government of Israel and the Turkel Commission due to the absence of women on the Government appointed Public Commission established to investigate the events of the Gaza flotilla raid. The petition argued that the absence of women on the Commission dealing with such an important issue contravenes International Law and the Women's Equal Rights Law; therefore, the High Court of Justice is required to intervene. Subsequent to the petition, the High Court of Justice ordered the Government to appoint a woman to the Commission, and the Court's ruling on this matter constitutes, still to date, one of the legal foundations for appropriate representation of women.
Change in procedures for denying income support for a single parent, subsequent to filing of a petition against the National Insurance Institute policy
HCJ 1512/04 Eti Hanukkah et al. V. The National Insurance Institute – Subsequent to a petition filed by Itach-Ma'aki with the High Court of Justice against the National Insurance Institute, it was determined that a hearing will be held prior to denying income support on the grounds of the single parent having a partner and use of a car. The NII first announced that a pilot would be conducted at several branches, however, the duty of conducting a hearing became a binding procedure at all NII branches throughout the country.
Successful petition filed with the High Court of Justice against the cancellation of employment test exemption for single mothers of children above the age of two
HCJ 1433/03 Svetlana Bajtin v Minister of Finances et al.
In January 2003 Itach-Ma'aki filed a petition against the Arrangements Law (aka - Economic Policy Law), which cancelled the exemption from the employment test for eligibility of single mothers of children above the age of two to receive income support. Contrarily, in the past mothers of children up to the age of seven were exempt from the employment test. Under the section of the Law against which the petition was filed with the High Court of Justice, in order to receive an allowance, single mothers of children above the age of two were required, in addition to the income test, to report to the Employment Bureau and to accept any suitable work offered. After the Employment Bureau amended its procedure for the employment of mothers of minor children, in 2008 a binding ruling was handed down. It stipulated that, based on objective information, if a single parent has objective difficulty in finding reasonable supervision arrangements for the children, appropriate work will be determined in view of the foregoing objective difficulty.
Following Supreme Court ruling, discriminatory clause against women omitted from the Agudat Israel platform
HCJ 1823/15 Tamar Ben-Porat v Registrar of Political Parties - following a prolonged struggle on behalf of the rights of women to be members of the ultra-Orthodox political parties, in January 2019 the High Court of Justice ordered the Ultra-Orthodox party, Agudat Israel, to remove the discriminatory clause in its platform that bans women from being members of the party. In its decision, the Supreme Court validated a historic moment in the representation of women in ultra-Orthodox parties. Itach Maaki, together with Prof. Neta Ziv, represented 10 women's organizations that joined the petition filed by attorney Ben Porat. Along the way, we were told that it was a hopeless struggle, it would be impossible to change the ultra-Orthodox parties. In the petition, we requested that the court stipulate that once the change in the platform has been made, the discrimination and ban on women joining the party must also be lifted in practice. This decision may directly affect all discriminatory policies of political parties in Israel.