Women are the backbone of any society and strong women make strong leaders. That is why WIZO developed the WIZO’s Young Women’s Leadership Program. This program finds young women with an aptitude for leadership and civil service and guides them in the best ways to act on their interests. By engaging these women while they are still teenagers, the leadership-training program can nourish their natural leadership qualities before they are superseded by other influences that affect young women, such as peer pressure and a desire to fit in.
Every year the program teaches 200 girls the values of pluralism, democracy and equality, leadership skills and personal responsibility. Often WIZO will focus on geographical areas hard hit by war or terror. These young women become active leaders in their communities, running real programs for the betterment of a hurting society.
Strong women make strong leaders which is why WIZO is working with the Israeli Defence Force to empower its women
Despite a clearly expressed desire to place women in crucial decision-making positions, the IDF was losing its best and brightest female officers and did not know how to counter the phenomenon. The IDF Women’s Affairs Advisor approached WIZO to create an empowerment course for the best and the brightest 25 female officers. Meeting once a week, these women participated in an empowerment course, where they received tools no other organization could supply.
By creating an open forum, the issues women face in the military were discovered and discussed. One of the main issues was the feeling of solitude. Often the ratio was one woman to 25 men. WIZO is assisting the IDF in understanding the needs of their female officers in order to create an environment in which they can advance and succeed. With the IDF serving as a conduit to leadership roles, by keeping women in the army, not only is our army strengthened, but the next wave of women political and social leadership will be as well.
Two inspiring women who are graduates of WIZO’s Women’s Leadership Program received recognition from the Israeli Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality, for their individual achievements in advancing the status of women in Israel.
Michal Barkai-Brody founded a first-of-its-kind initiative in Israel, “Alma Derech-Eretz,” a pre-military educational program for young women from Israel’s periphery and lower socio-economic strata, aimed at empowering them and preparing them for future leadership positions, during and after their mandatory army service.
Michal spoke of her experience with WIZO saying, “We are all a part of women’s organization that is changing reality, fulfilling women’s dreams and even giving them the opportunity to dream! I am honoured to be a part of WIZO. WIZO allowed me to believe that anything is possible, and that I could alter the future of girls who had not been given the opportunity to succeed. All the graduates of the pre-military program I started became officers, commanders and soldiers with significant roles. WIZO opened the door for them.”
Racheli Mangoli is a recognized star within the ranks of WIZO, thanks to the wonders she has achieved as the head of the WIZO Community Centre in Pardes Katz, one of the toughest and weakest neighbourhoods in Israel.
‘I truly thank WIZO for giving me the opportunity to be the head of a local branch,’ said Racheli, ‘I had no idea of my own capabilities until I was chosen for the job. Now I am able to move mountains – thanks to what I learned through WIZO.’
We know where women have greater economic, academic and personal freedoms, development accelerates and poverty decreases.
That’s why we believe empowering Israeli women is the only path to improving and ensuring the health of the entire Israeli society.
WIZO has always and will always empower women to ensure a strong and stable State of Israel.