Updated: May 13
While others have been laid off or put on "non-paid vacation," the staff of Na'am has been working harder than ever. Five women have been murdered in Israel in the seven weeks since the beginning of the "stay inside" policy. Behind that statistic are thousands more for whom the shut-in policy is a constant threat. For some women the "new normal" is not something we just need to get used to. It's the "old normal" but compounded and pressurized. Young women and teenage girls have been especially vulnerable; among other things, the meetings we had been holding for small groups of teens had been stopped and young women who were just beginning to learn how to open up to others had a very real support system taken away.
At the start of Ramadan, Na'am organized the delivery of care packages to needy families in Lod and Ramla, expanded the office hours, and worked harder than ever to help women extract themselves from abusive and threatening situations.
The problem is that there are only 14 women's shelters in the country -- only two of them for Arab women. Their government is still not functioning, and between Supreme Court deliberations and coalition discussions, the bills that are meant to start alleviating the situation are stuck in committees. Even when these are passed, the new rules and regulations are not forwarded to the police or to the welfare system.
Na'am is one of five organizations leading tomorrow's protest, which will be taking place in numerous locations around the county, with the hashtag: Not on my bill. There has been a very real price to pay for the continued neglect and outright refusal to deal with this second epidemic, and it is time the Knesset took some responsibility for paying that price. May 6 at 10:00 am. For the Facebook page (in Arabic Hebrew and Russian): https://www.facebook.com/events/562847777698599/