This is an advertisement of the Women's Liberation Movement in Jerusalem campaigning against the annual Israeli Beauty Pageant from 1972. The title of the notice reads: “We are not beautiful, we are not ugly, we are angry!” Next to the title appears the logo of the International Women’s Liberation Movement which includes the women’s gender symbol with a clasped fist in the centre. To the left of the text is a black and white picture, which has a number of pig-looking figures pointing at a solitary woman, who appears to be unclothed except for a towel wrapped around her. The woman looks nervous and unsure of herself.
The advertisement states that the Women's Liberation Movement is strongly opposed to the beauty competition which humiliates women. They claim that the beauty pageant is the equivalent of sizing up “chickens in a butcher’s shop” and that the real purpose of these competitions is to increase profits for the beauty industry. A woman’s appearance, they go on, is not important while she does not receive real rights, such as the freedoms to decide whether to give birth, to choose her profession, and to decide about her role in the household and whom she lives with. In light of these claims, the movement calls on the candidates to withdraw from the competition and appeals to the public not to support the competition and to participate in a demonstration against the competition. At the end of the poster, the movement includes its demands, which include equal pay and taxes for equal work, civil marriage, free abortion, and free day care.
The first beauty queen pageant was held in Israel in 1950, following the success of similar competitions around the world. Since then, the competition has been held annually despite public criticism. In Israel, as in other countries, there is much controversy about these contests for both feminist and religious reasons.
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Women Equality in Israel - Women sought equality from the early days of the pioneers in pre-state Israel. Many women worked alongside men in the fields and orchards of the kibbutzim, in the construction of roads and houses, and even in the military organisations. Since the first elections for the institutions of the Yishuv (the Jewish population of pre-State Israel), Israeli women had fought for the right to vote. The first moshava (agricultural town) that gave women voting rights was Rishon LeZion in 1917. Women participated in their first national elections in Israel in 1926. When the State of Israel was established, the Declaration of Independence called for: “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” Accordingly, women have had to the right to vote and to be elected since the very first Knesset elections. Nevertheless, there were still many feminist struggles to win in Israel in order for women to achieve equality. Another wave of feminism in Israel followed the struggle of the feminist movement in the western world in the 1960s and 1970s.