Read about the local governments that have already joined the City for All initiative and see the impact on the municipality and its people
Haifa is Israel’s largest mixed city with a Jewish and Arab population, and has the third largest population of any city in Israel with 267,300 residents. Its city administration has around 5,000 employees, making it the largest and most complex City for All process held so far.
The Work Process
The City for All Process in Haifa started in October 2018, a few weeks before the municipal elections, where for the first time in the city’s history a woman was elected to be the mayor. In turn, Haifa’s new mayor, Dr. Einat Kalish Rotem (a city planner by profession), made history again by appointing an Arab woman as her deputy – Ms. Shahira Shalabi, who is currently a city council member.
The City for All process, with the full support of the new mayor, is led by her Advisor on Gender Equality- Ms. Beatrice Katz Rozen and an incredibly diverse multi-sectoral steering committee (including Jewish and Arab women, Religious women, and activist women, divided into 5 sub-committees who drafted The Gender Equality Action Plan for the City of Haifa.)
A conference held on September 30th launched the first Gender Equality Vision and Action Plan in Haifa, a major achievement for the city and its residents. On September 8th, after two years of ongoing efforts led by NGOs and the city advisor for gender equality, the city council adopted the Vision and Action Plan and committed to:
- Increasing safety measures for women in public spaces and public transportation
- Increasing the City’s efforts and budgets to combat GBV (gender based violence), including for minorities and diverse groups
- Increasing support for families and women to improve family-work balance
- Supporting female led businesses and small businesses
- Gender mainstreaming in education and schools
- Increasing women’s representation in influential positions
For the first time in municipal history there is a Gender Equality Committee established and operating in the city.
It is led by council member Naama Lazimi. The committee’s mandate is to advance the City for All process and implement its Action Plan in the future.
Matte Asher is a regional authority in the Western Galilee, covering the area north of Haifa up to the Lebanon border. It includes 32 rural villages, moshavim and kibbutzim, including two Bedouin villages. This is Itach Maaki’s first program with a regional authority, rather than an urban municipality.
The Work Process
City for All in Matte Asher focuses on the central theme of combating gender based violence. The program will be a two-year program, and will be funded half by the municipality and half by Itach-Ma’aki donors. This is the first time that the municipality will be paying a full 50% of the costs, furthering the scalability of the City for All program.
Efforts to combat gender based violence in Matte Asher will focus on three strategies:
- Prevention, enforcement and rehabilitation services
- Public campaigning.
For each of these strategies we will be holding public consultations, seeking out representatives from diverse minority populations to participate in the consultations and establishing a local lead team.
A memorandum of understanding between Itach Maaki and the municipality has already been established, and planning has begun together with the Matte Asher Mayoral Advisor for Gender Equality, Yael Shavit and other municipal workers and committees.
The Head of the Authority (equivalent to the mayor), Moshe Davidovitch, has already committed to being a part of the lead team for the City for All program. We also have two additional partners who will play specific roles in the Matte Asher program: the Public Knowledge Workshop (HaSadna) will conduct work on data collection and analysis to get a proper mapping of the area, and the Institute for Democracy Education will be participating in the education part of the program.
The Beit HaKerem Cluster
Beit HaKerem is a cluster of seven authorities in the Galilee of northern Israel, with a total population of approximately 140,000 residents. The cluster is very diverse, encompassing Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Druze populations and consisting of villages, moshavim, and cities.
The Work Process
City for All in Beit HaKerem is currently in the mapping phase. The program in Beit HaKerem is being run in conjunction with the cluster’s process on advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in the area.
In the next phase of the process, Ehskol will decide on 4 or 5 major topics in the field of STEM to concentrate on, and establish a committee to work on each of them. One of the topics will most likely be Gender, Diversity and Inclusion, and will be led by Attorney Dana Myrtenbaum. The committee will do a wider community stakeholder consultation on the topic in order to develop an action plan. The process is being led by the Eshkol together with the Ministry of Interior, and is likely to be replicated for other clusters and municipalities.
City for All Program Director Attorney Dana Myrtenbaum participated in and facilitated 3 public consultation meetings each attended by between 70 -100 representatives from the fields of education, business, academia and civil society. During these consultations, data from the initial mapping work on employment, education and demography was shared. The gender gap between men and women in STEM, along with other issues such as digital literacy, language, and teacher training were all discussed in the most recent plenary.
Akko is a unique city in the Israeli landscape, home to an incredibly diverse population of different ethnic, religious, cultural, and age groups. Akko is 60.4% Jewish and 31.8% Arab, with about 20% of residents over the age of 60.
The Jewish population is largely secular, but the religious population is growing and includes Haredim, Chardalim, and Dati Leumi’im.
The Work Process
During the first phase of the City for All process in Akko (2017-2018), our multi-sectoral steering committee accomplished the following:
- Meetings with all of the senior staff at the Akko municipality, including the City CEO, City treasurer, City Legal Council, Head of the Employment Services, Head of Welfare Services department, and others.
- A large public consultation held in the Akko city hall in May 2018 with over 120 participants including men and women, city senior staff, city employees, and elected council members. Through a methodology developed by Itach- Ma’aki, the participants formed a Gender Equality Convention and Action Plan for the city of Akko.
- During the months of June to November 2018 the steering committee and the Itach- Ma’aki staff wrote Akko’s vision and action plan. In December, the plan was reviewed and signed by the mayor and the city council.
The second phase of City for All in Akko was the implementation of the Action Plan:
- After the adoption of the City for All Akko Action Plan, the Mayor of Akko appointed Mrs. Sari Goldshtein– who also holds the gender equality portfolio – as deputy mayor to the city council.
- In addition, various Akko municipal departments began an individual analysis of their data by gender, age, national origin, and more.
- In March 2019, a diverse Women’s Council was established in Akko – the first of any council in Israel — comprising 40 women from around the city. This Women’s Council is active on various projects with the support of the Mayor and city council, and is made up of Arab and Jewish women in equal proportions to the population.
- In May 2019, the Women’s Council hosted a Kosher Iftar to promote cross-cultural understanding and shared society among women.
Located in the center of Israel, the Arab city of Tayibe is recovering from a financial and organizational crisis that took place in the past few years. While its residents face many economic and social challenges, women and girls face the additional challenges of gender discrimination, gender gaps, safety, employment stability, transportation, and more.
The Work Process
The City for All Process in Taybeh (2017-2018) was led by Dr. Nehaya Habib, who was the first woman elected to the Taybeh City Council. City for All in Taybeh worked with a group of women leaders from the city and with the full support of the Mayor, Adv. Shoua Masarwa.
With Itach Maaki’s help,
- Training was given to senior city officials on gender equality and gender mainstreaming
- Four round Tables were held in the city with women, men and city senior officials and employees along with civil society and the business sector
- A City for All convention and Action Plan was drafted and adopted by the Mayor and city council
- An Advisor on the Advancement of Women was appointed in Taybeh, after an extended choosing period during which that seat remained empty.
- A municipal center for women was opened by the city in 2019.
- The city was able to secure specific days where the municipal swimming pool would be exclusively open for women, and we helped establish a sports center for women in Tabyeh as well.
Taibe City for All Convention and Action Plan, December 2019 Pdf (Arabic / Hebrew)
The City for All program was initiated in Rishon Lezion in 2017, inspired by the work of the Rishon Lezion Women’s Network. The city, with the 4 th largest municipal population in Israel, is now a leader in building resources towards gender equality, including:
- A full-time position for the Mayor’s Advisor on Gender Equality (in most Israeli local authorities this statutory position is left unstaffed, or only offered as a part time job.)
- A Gender Equality Municipal Authority, with a significant annual operating budget
- A first-of-its-kind Municipal Rights Center for Women, established and led by Adv. Dana Eisner Lavi, who recently became the mayor’s advisor.
- The creation of the Women’s Network, a unique model for social action developed in Rishon Lezion with over 10,000 women in the city active in Network forums and groups.
The Rishon Lezion model of action works in four complementary fields to achieve gender-mainstreaming in city governance;
- Fostering Women’s and Girls’ Leadership and Activism
- Promoting Gender and Family Sensitive Working life in the city
- Gender Analysis of Policies and Budgets
- Municipal Rights Center for Women
These four fields of action were also the foundations of the public consultation process (Roundtables) in Akko and Taybeh and led to their Gender Equality Action Plans.