From Wonder Woman to wondering women

Read all about Wonder Woman on Israelink right here:

Wonder Woman and wondering women

Wonder Woman is exactly that. She stands for justice and truth, compassion and kindness. Wonder Woman is so fabulous, even her accessories are indestructible and face it, who doesn’t love fashion that has truth wielding super powers?

It seems quite fitting that the bodacious Gal Gadot, one of the best Israeli exports since Waze and Mobileye, fills this iconic role. Beautiful, with Amazonian proportions and a deep love of her home country, Israel, Gadot is the perfect choice. While there are some who have sour grapes (yes you, BDS!) it hasn’t stopped her meteoric rise to the top and record-breaking box office takings. Talk about girl power in a rocking outfit!

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Our gal, Gal in action

Wonder Woman has super human strength, longevity and mind blowing reflexes – well, what do you expect from someone who served in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces)!  She is a celebration of feminism and femininity and we Israelis are kvelling, we are so proud of our gal, Gal.

A neighbourhood of no’s

Women’s rights in the rest of the Middle East are not as wonder-ful. Often relegated to second class status, our sisters in our very volatile neighbourhood do not enjoy as many rights as their Israeli sisters do. Israel’s detractors (yes, you again BDS!) would have you believe that women in minority communities in Israel are oppressed and subject to racially discriminating laws. This is so untrue, in fact, the Israeli Justice Ministry just swore in its first Qadi, a female sharia judge.

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Adv. Hana Khatib sworn in as first Qadi by President Rivlin 

For most women who live in the region, the Middle East is just a neighbourhood of no’s. No rights to vote, own property or business, no rights to as lucrative an education as their male counterparts, no rights to the freedom of expression or sexual orientation. In Saudi Arabia, where women’s rights are at an all-time low, women are not even allowed to drive or go anywhere without a chaperone. In many countries women have to cover their faces as well as their bodies and the effective message is that they have been silenced. In some instances women are subject to the most inhumane torture, female genital mutilation, for fear that she may enjoy sexual pleasure.

Where women have been raped or fallen in love with someone who is not their chose match, they are often blamed and face honour killings, a hideous phenomenon which has left many dead or severely disfigured as a result of these heinous acts of retribution that seldom, if ever goes punished.

While women around the world celebrated International Woman’s Day on the 8th of March, Palestinian women in Hamas governed Gaza were prohibited from enjoying similar festivities.  Hamas did this without a giving a reason and the territory continues to become more and more “conservative” and have imposed a strict dress code on women and banned them from smoking in cafes.

Unorthodox treatment

It is not just Muslim women who suffer from inequality. Christian women have been raped and sold into slavery or killed as the Islamic State continues its march of destruction through the neighbourhood.  Very little has entered the global consciousness about the situation facing Middle Eastern Christian women. There have been no marches, no protests and no vigils.

In some ultra-Orthodox sects in the Jewish community, women are also discriminated against. The horrendous trend of spitting on little girls who are not dressed “modest enough” or the relegation of women to sitting at the back of the bus has raised the ire of many women in Israel. While we enjoy considerably more rights than our sisters in the rest of our Middle Eastern neighbourhood, like many western women we continue to fight for the improvement of the status of women in areas like salary suffrage and employment equity.

The difference is that we can – we have a voice and nobody is scuppering to silence us.

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Blazing a trail

In fact, Israel can boast about remarkable strides in women’s equality. We can lay claim to one of the first female Prime Ministers in Golda Meir, Nobel Prize winners in science and other fields, Arab women who serve in the diplomatic corps, who are beauty queens and even win cooking competitions like Masterchef. In Israel, women can be pilots, pioneers, entrepreneurs and home executives, ballerinas and superheroes. They can be anything they want to be. We can blaze a trail for our sisters across the region. Nobody is stopping us.

It is only fitting that we add Gal Gadot, to the pantheon of Israeli Wonder Women.

Sara Zoabi shares her love for Israel

The pursuit of justice and equal rights for women in the Middle East requires super human effort and dedication. It requires giving the voiceless a voice, uplifting the downtrodden and advocating for the powerless. Women in the Middle East have been wondering for a long time – who speaks on their behalf?

Perhaps Wonder Woman, with her dedication to the pursuit of justice and her exceptional longevity is the super hero women in the region have been waiting for. Some might say it is a Herculean task. I say it is a job perfect for Wonder Woman.

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One thought on “From Wonder Woman to wondering women

  1. At last there is an Israeli woman in the cinema that we can all take pride in. As much as I adore Natalie Portman for her love of Israel, she chooses to live in France. Israeli women have borne all the ills and travails of our rebirth alongside their men with courage, honor and a depth of feeling for our tiny Jewish country that has elevated our national consciousness and greatly contributedd to the national spirit of our pioneering generation and all those that have followed to the present day
    From Sara Aaronson to Manya Shochat, from Golda Me’ir to Ayelet Shaked, and all the women who shared in the battles from the days of the mandate to the current struggle against Islamost terror gangs, Israeli women, no matter native born or immigrant, have made this start up nation stand up and cheer.
    There is no field of endeavor that these women have not been a valuable part of. Science, the arts, literature and journalism, not too mention politics and even the military, have all benefited from the distaff side of the human equation. sure, there are still some lingering issues, like equal pay and military opportunities, but there will be solved in time. People forget that we, as a new nation, haven’t yet reached our 70th birthday. You know that liturgically, the year 70 denotes a new beginning, a new birth. Even the Hollywood star, Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch Demsky, had a 2nd bar mitzvah when he reached the age of 83!
    Perhaps this new birth will usher in a brighter and more illustrious life for Israeli women. Women are much more than mothers, far more. There is a saying that G-d could not always be everywhere so He created mothers-even Gal Gadot.

    Liked by 1 person

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