|SHATIL Leads campaign to Keep Women's Retirement Age at 62|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
It is impossible to turn on the radio or open a newspaper in Israel and not come across an article on the proposed and controversial law to gradually raise the retirement age for women from 62 to 67. A wide range of politicians, women's and social change organizations and the public opposes the legislation, and SHATIL is working to unite these forces in a targeted campaign to stop the proposed change.
"Until we solve the systematic discrimination against women – and especially older women -- in the workplace, we cannot talk about raising the retirement age," said SHATIL's Dorit Abramovtich, who is coordinating the newly formed Coalition of Organizations against Raising Women's Retirement Age in Israel.
The current women's retirement age of 62 is not mandatory and those who wish may continue to work. But the 50 percent of women who don’t wish to continue working may now receive government pensions at 62.
The campaign is working closely with MKs from an unprecedentedly broad array of parties – led by Meretz's Zehava Galon, who initiated the move, and including Yisrael Beiteinu's Fania Kirshenbaum and Labor's Dalia Itzik – as well as with WIZO, Naamat, the Adva Center, the Mahut Center, Itach-MAKI, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and the Israel Women's Network.
The campaign works to push the issue higher on the public agenda through petitions, lobbying, letter-writing and media outreach.
Since the beginning of the coordinated campaign three weeks ago, the issue has grabbed constant headlines and massive political attention, with debates filling the airwaves.Leading members of the governing coalition, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, have joined the opposition to the proposed law. The drama continues as the Kadima party is threatening a no-confidence vote, threatening the cohesiveness of the Coalition. An emergency conference on the issue under the auspices of MKs Galon and Kirshenbaum is taking place in the Knesset as we go to press.