Women of Valor
In the Haredi community, a woman’s obligation is to marry and bear children, and serve as primary breadwinner while her husband studies religious texts. Haredi political parties in Israel forbid women to seek public office. Fed up with the status quo, Esty Shushan is fighting to change that. She co-founds a nonprofit calling for representation of Orthodox women in the Knesset, taking their case to the UN women’s rights committee and the Israeli Supreme Court. To prepare the next generation for leadership roles, her Nivcharot organization establishes a program to mentor young women and get the first female name on the ballot. But change comes with a cost, as Esty’s activism brings threats, suspicion and online harassment. Ostracized as a “fake Haredi,” she must reconcile deep-rooted frustration over ultra-Orthodox life with her efforts to bring the silent voices of women to the center of Israeli discourse.
Anna Somershaf, Tal Barda
Anna Somershaf, Tal Brog
WINNERBest of Festival, Documentary FeatureRichmond International Film Festival2023
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