Updated: Jan 17, 2022
Who are the ultra-Orthodox feminists who are not afraid to demand adequate representation in the Knesset? What are they doing at the UN, and how does the ultra-Orthodox community view them? The new documentary "Eshet Chayil" (Women of Valor) answers these questions.
“They thought I was crazy, but I cannot keep silent anymore,” says Esty Shushan, CEO of Nivcharot, interviewed in the film Eshet Chayil. Nivcharot, which evolved in recent years, created a new identity of ultra-Orthodox feminist and activists who courageously work within the ultra-Orthodox community. Their work, their battles, and the prices they have paid have been documented with great talent by filmmaker Anna Somershef. Eshet Chayil portrays the uplifting as well as difficult moments in the Sisyphean struggle of Esty Shushan and
Nivcharot activists as they relentlessly pursue equal rights and opportunities for ultra-Orthodox woman and uncompromisingly demand the representation of ultra-Orthodox women in ultra-Orthodox parties.
In Israel, there are two parties that represent the ultra-Orthodox constituency in
the Knesset (Israeli parliament), United Torah Judaism and Shas. These parties are made up of male members only. In the film, we see Esty Shushan’s speech in the UN assembly, in which she calls for a stop to this outrageous discrimination. This intensive battle is also being fought through the legal system (a petition was submitted to the Supreme Court against the Agudat Yisrael party) as well as in other arenas, including the media, social networks and in the public sphere.
The film was screened at the Cinematheque cinemas across Israel and on Hot Television’s Channel 8.
Warning to Viewers: You will not remain indifferent!