On Wednesday 26 April 2017 at Kikar Habima, Tel Aviv, the European Union Delegation to the State of Israel and El Halev hosted an outdoor self-defence and empowerment event for women and teenage girls. The free event included a workshop for gaining practical skills of self-defence empowerment, information and expert demonstration and concluded with women breaking concrete blocks with their bare hands. The event was open to the public.
The aim of El Halev NGO is to empower women and teenage girls, through internal empowerment and martial arts, as well as other self-defence tactics, to break through the barriers that prevent the realization their full potential. The association works on prevention of physical, sexual, emotional and economic violence against women, youth, people with disabilities, aged people from all parts of Israeli society.
The EU has teamed up with El Halev for this event to highlight that violence against women is a phenomenon that needs to be fought on all fronts. Gender-based violence is both a form of discrimination and a violation of the fundamental human rights. It happens everywhere, in every society regardless of social background, whether at home, at work, at school, in the street or online.
El Halev teaches five basic principles and skills which all women can carry with them at all times to deal with different forms of aggression: bullying, peer groups pressure, harassment and sexual attacks, exploitation and abusive relationships.
The EU Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen said: "Self-defence can make women feel safer to walk the streets, girls can feel safer in their schools. Self-protection itself is not the solution to ending gender based violence but it can help in our fight to eliminate the apathy that many people feel about this form of discrimination. We can and must do more."
As part of the 2016-2020 EU Gender Action Plan in external relations, the EU will continue investing in women and girls whose rights are violated across the world.