On June 12, the SHATIL-led coalition Yachdav – for the Prevention of Violence in the Ethiopian Family made a presentation at a joint meeting of the Knesset Committees on the Status of Women and on Absorption. The Coalition spoke on the issue of domestic violence among Israeli Ethiopians, the Coalition’s work-to-date and its demands of the government. MK Gideon Sa’ar, Chair of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, began by thanking SHATIL Coalition Coordinator Shulamit Sahalo for initiating the meeting and invited her to present the opening remarks.
The meeting, based on a position paper the Coalition had prepared for the Knesset, included representatives from the Coalition, the Ministries of Absorption, Welfare, Education, Health and Internal Security, the Jewish Agency, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on the Status of Women and NGOs. At the meeting’s conclusion, Sa’ar said he would push for additional Amharic-speaking social workers, higher government mortgage grants to prevent Ethiopians from congregating in Israel’s poorest neighborhoods, and occupational training at absorption centers to equip Ethiopian men with the skills needed to support their families. These issues are all important agenda items for the Coalition. Sa’ar also spoke of the need to intensify dialogue between the government and NGOs. He said he would report on his progress at the next joint meeting of the committees.