ZFA soars ahead in gender equality pledge; acknowledgement of country

Official Statements

The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) is pleased to have unanimously adopted two forward looking resolutions at its recent executive meeting on Tuesday 18 June.

The ZFA is the first national roof body to have officially endorsed the Gender Equality Pledge initiated by the National Council of Jewish Women Australia – NCJWA (Vic). The resolution was moved by United Progressive Judaism and seconded by Mizrachi.

The pledge is an important acknowledgement of the rights of all members of the community to live in an equitable society, with equal access to opportunities, representation and resources. Acknowledging further that women and girls today remain an underutilised resource, it advocates that women and girls must have the same rights and opportunities as men including communal leadership, decision making and participation.

In signing up to the pledge, the ZFA commits to gender equality, pursuit of a culture of respect for women and strategies and policies relating to gender equality such as board composition and recruitment and representation on panels, at events, conferences and workshops.

This initiative is timely, coming soon after the ZFA itself has been reinvigorated by a new leadership team in which 6 of the 11 positions elected at our last Biennial Conference in November are women, three of them new to the ZFA.

ZFA CEO Ginette Searle said: “In this generation, it’s a no-brainer that our community organisations should be led by a team in which women are not only included, but their perspectives and working styles welcomed. I’m also delighted that women have taken on roles in fields such as politics and advocacy, as well as education and programming”.

“We applaud the initiative taken by NCJWA Vic in raising this issue across organisations and holding them accountable for their performance. We are encouraging our affiliate organisations to not only sign up to the pledge, but to be creative and dedicated to making changes that will see community organisational cultures continue to improve in this important area”.

“While our professional workforce is predominantly female, it is important that women continue to play a significant role in executive positions and around the boardroom table. The ZFA looks forward to implementing all areas of the pledge in partnership with the NCJWA,” Ms Searle concluded.

NCJWA (Vic) Board Member, Anna Serry commended the ZFA’s decision.

“The ZFA has supported the Gender Equality Pledge from its inception and we are encouraged to receive unanimous support from its Board for the initiative. We need to work together to encourage and elevate the many amazing women throughout our community who have incredible skill, talent and perspectives which would enrich our Jewish community.”
“We congratulate ZFA for actively encouraging its affiliates and the wider community to commit to the Gender Equality Pledge and pursue the goal of elevating womens participation and voice within our community. This is an important step towards achieving gender equality.”

President of the ZFA, Jeremy Leibler also commended a proposal and endorsement of a resolution moved by AZYC and seconded by AUJS requiring the ZFA to read out an Acknowledgement of Country at the commencement of major events and meetings. The resolution requires the ZFA to acknowledge traditional owners and emerging leaders, past, present and emerging at all major events and meetings and also encourages the ZFA’s affiliates to adopt this measure where practical.

“The Jewish community in Australia has deep and meaningful relationships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia. It is credit to our highly engaged youth affiliates that this important resolution was put forward, enabling us to further our journey of reconciliation with the first Australians,” Mr Leibler said.

For media enquiries please contact:

Jeremy Leibler, President – +61 417 382 387, jleibler@abl.com.au
Ariel Zohar, – +61 425 872 296,
ariel@zfa.com.au or Emily Gian, – +61 418 819 161, emily@zfa.com.au

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