Zulat Conference: Inspiring Women

On 8 April 2024 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, Zulat held a conference entitled “Inspiring Women” in collaboration with Taiwan’s Representative Office in Israel and the Solidarity Film Festival, which was followed by a screening of the film “Wholl Stop the Rain.Held in the presence of Taiwan’s Charge d’Affaires Abby Ya-Ping Lee, the conference was introduced by Zulat Executive Director Einat Ovadia and featured a discussion between Zulat President Zehava Galon, MK Pnina Tamano-Shata, chairperson of the Knesset Committee on Women’s Status and Gender Equality, and Nira Shpak, a retired IDF colonel, former MK, and one of the heroes of Kfar Azza, a kibbutz attacked by Hamas on October 7th.

Ovadia expressed concern for the fate of the hostages, saying they are still in the tunnels in Gaza, and we hope for their swift and safe return. In this war, we have seen the high participation of women in the active defense of the country. However, as is always the case in times of crisis, Jewish and Arab women are the first to be hurt in every respect: sexually, economically, in the job market, and in decision-making centers. We need to see more women MKs fighting for equality.”

Charge d’Affaires Lee elaborated on the most salient steps Taiwan has taken to empower women.

Galon: “It’s hard to be a woman in Israel today; we have gone back light years. Never before has the need to fight for our place in society been as dramatic as it is today. Pnina‘s meetings with the families of the hostages were conducted with great sensitivity, but aside from what is being done by her committee, we have seen gender blindness on the part of all those in decision-making positions.”

MK Tamano-Shata:On October 7th we saw women crying for help and being dragged into Gaza, and testimonies continue to pile up about sexual violence. People went through hell, and we in the Knesset need to listen first and then act. A woman who only listens and does not act should not be an elected official.

Shpak: “It’s not easy being a woman in the IDF, and that is particularly obvious nowadays. Not long ago I heard that an officer in the all-woman tank crew that saved lives on October 7th was not allowed to attend a specialization course because religious participants objected. We need to investigate every such incident. The IDF is not a private firm, it belongs to all of us.”

Translation from Hebrew: Shoshana Michkin

Photos: Elad Guttman


Watch the full confrence (Hebrew, no Subtitles):





Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.