The Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere (WIPS) was established at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in 2009 with the support of The Dafna Fund. WIPS is committed to Gender Mainstreaming as an overall strategy for promoting the democratic and civil status of women in diverse social groups. This approach aims to transform the issue of gender inequality, historically conceptualized as a “women’s issue,” and reformulate it as a general social worldview that relates to both men and women and to all social structures. The WIPS center aims to make gender equality an inseparable part of the thought and action of legislators and decision makers in various areas.
The WIPS Center conducts research, promotes strategic thinking, and initiates projects and programs in areas relevant to implementing gender mainstreaming and gender equality in Israel. Among others, WIPS developed the Gender Index, an innovative tool that serves to evaluate women’s status in Israel across a spectrum of fields over time, and raises issues of gender awareness and women’s representation to the public agenda. Furthermore, as a monitor of the status of women in Israel it is a powerful tool for observing and assessing state policies and efforts to increase gender equality. The creation and implementation of the Gender Index is a breakthrough in conventional research methods currently being employed to analyze gender inequalities. It is the first of its kind in Israel, and will potentially serve as a model for other countries to evaluate the status of women. The Gender Index report is published annually with updated and expanded data.
The founders of WIPS aim to make it a framework that brings together women’s organizations, feminist activists, researchers, legislators and decision makers, so that their dialogue and sharing of thoughts will serve as a source of knowledge, guidance and experience for anyone interested in promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming in Israel. The center also promotes strategies to coordinate the efforts and impact of social action designed to promote women’s status and gender equality by connecting grassroots women’s organizations, policy makers, legislators and those acting for broad social change.
On December 2016 WIPS won a major grant from the Israeli Ministry of Science to establish and design a National Knowledge Center on Women and Gender. This is a joint project with the Public Knowledge Workshop and the Samuel Neaman Institute of the Technion, and it is a great opportunity to provide the Israeli public and various stakeholders within it, with a much needed – updated, innovative and knowledgeable source on women and gender.www.vanleer.org.il/en/wips