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.