It’s not often that a chocolate bar will provoke rage, but Israeli women are quite rightly fuming about an ill-thought out chocolate campaign. For one thing, the cliché about women being obsessed with chocolate is tired. However what is really tiring is the way that one conservative political party has attempted to woo female voters.
By offering them chocolate bars with cleaning tips printed on them, that is.
Printed on the wrapper of the chocolate barswas this helpful advice: “Divide your Passover cleaning into 20 individual tasks that are easy to complete. Each time you finish one – reward yourself with square of chocolate. You’ll be amazed how, in just 20 days, how you will have finished everything and reached your goal! That’s when you’ll deserve a really big square of chocolate!”
The gimmick – part of a rally held by the ultra-Orthodox party in Israel, led by Eli Yishai for the party’s female supporters – has rather unsurprisingly sparked outrage among ultra-Orthodox women activists. Women who have been campaigning for better recognition of their rights and for their voices to be heard in parliament.
Reaction to the stunt has ranged from women posting mocking posts to social media, to Zehava Galon, the leader of the Meretz Party giving her own message to the leader,“Eli Yishai – I have a message for YOU from all the women of Israel regarding Passover cleaning – it’s time you participated in it. You simply won’t believe how in just 20 days, it will transform you into someone who thinks twice before he degrades women.”
The stunt goes against everything that conservative women in Israel have been working toward changing – their status and visibility in politics. Activist groups such as a group of female activists called “No Female Candidate, No Female Votes” have pledged not to vote in the election until there is a female candidate. Meanwhile a fledgling female political party, the Bezechutan party. While they are not expected to get close to victory, as the sisterhood blog on the Jewish Daily Forward notes, the very existence of such a party represents a new boldness among ultra-orthodox women.