As Israel joined in marking International Women’s Day on Tuesday, the chairman of the Knesset House Committee announced that the Israeli parliament would also mark International Men’s Day.
“Men deserve to have a day dedicated to them, especially in a time when the discourse surrounding the Israeli man is non-existent,” David Bitan said of the initiative.
“International Women’s Day is one of the most important days you can mark,” says Bitan, adding that “we must promote gender equality and reduce gaps on the matter, but also on the way we must not forget about the men.”
According to Bitan, a Likud MK, the government will observe the day in May with plenum discussions and special committee sessions dedicated to the well-being of men in Israel.
On Tuesday, the Knesset’s Committee for the Advancement of Women marked International Women’s Day with a special discussion on domestic abuse.
Bitan did not detail why the Knesset event was chosen for May, while International Men’s Day is generally observed on November 19.
Around the world and in Israel this week, public figures attended an array of events honoring women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements.
At the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Monday, President Reuven Rivlin’s wife, Nechama, hosted leading female figures in Israel.
A day later, Rivlin’s predecessor Shimon Peres played host to supermodel Naomi Campbell at a conference about women and change at the Peres Center, where he presented her an award in honor of her work for women.
The otherwise sober and politically correct day was disturbed when outspoken journalist and socialite Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes asserted that many professional women stay single because their male colleagues are too frightened of the prospect of sexual harassment suits to flirt.
“Too many managers refuse to hire women out of fear that if they fail and need to be fired, they [too] will complain about sexual harassment,” Shalom said in a string of tweets Tuesday. “They give preference to a man for the same position.
“Despite the fact that I feel equal to a man, I know that we’re different. I like it when a man opens the door for me, pays for a meal, I prefer that a man chase a woman. Sue me!” She wrote.
Shalom Nir-Mozes is married to the erstwhile Likud minister and vice prime minister Silvan Shalom, who resigned in December amid allegations that he sexually harassed women who had worked with him.
She caused a storm last year when she tweeted a racist joke about US President Barack Obama. She promptly deleted the post and apologized for the “stupid joke.”