May 6, 2013  By Jewish National Fund  Category: Blueprint Negev,

WEPOWER Celebrates the Opening of the Negev Branch of the College for Women in Politics

WEPOWER is pleased to announce that yesterday May 5, 2013 we celebrated the launch of the Negev branch of the College for Women in Politics, made possible with the support of the Jewish National Fund, at the Council Hall of the Beer Sheva Municipality.

The panel speakers were the Mayor of Beer Sheva, Mayor of Mitzpe Ramon, Mayor of Arad, Head of the Regional Council Bnei Shimon, Deputy Mayor of Beer Sheva, Deputy Mayor of Dimona and a Councilmember in Beer Sheva. The Executive Director of WEPOWER, Ifat Zamir gave the opening remarks. The Mayor of Beer Sheva, Mr. Rubik Danilovich, spoke at length about his full-hearted support for reaching a more equal balance in politics as well as his enthusiasm to be working in partnership with WEPOWER.

The conference was attended by 70 women. Among them, "Women for Future Leadership" training program graduates from the Negev, including women from Sderot, Ofakim, Arad, Beer Sheva and Regional Council Bnei Shimon. The conference discussed the opportunities and challenges facing women leaders in the upcoming elections. The three women mayors in attendance, all from the Negev, shared their inspiring stories and spoke about the importance of more women in the municipal sphere and encouraged the participants to run in the upcoming municipal elections in October. The Mayor of Arad, Tali Ploskov said to our program graduates: "Use my slogan – I will run and I will win – as your own in your campaign. I adopted this as a graduate of WEPOWER training program in 2005 and I still carry it with me today."

The Negev branch of the College was established thanks to the strategic partnership with the Jewish National Fund, and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation--Women's Amutot Initiative, Jewish Women's Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, the U.S.--Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), Union of Local Authorities, and the Office for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee.

All of us at WEPOWER and all of the beneficiaries of our programs greatly appreciate your commitment to strengthening the next generation of women leaders in the Negev. We strongly believe that equal representation will lead to a better society and stronger community in the Negev.