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Trait d’Union

18.03.2016

The exhibition “Women and Their Olive Trees” has been inaugurated at the United Nations in Geneva, in March 2016. A cultural occasion to emphasize the multicultural aspect of Israel and to empower women.

“It was important to me to make a connection though art and paintings and to find women artists who wanted to have open dialogue, to connect and to learn from each other.” This is the message of coexistence that Mrs. Sheila Dvor Casdi wanted to carry through the exhibition “Women and Their Olive Trees”, initiated by her in the Israeli city of Afula, and inaugurated as a UNOG Cultural Event at the Palais des Nations on Tuesday 15 March with the support of the Permanent Mission of Israel, and the collaboration of WIZO Switzerland.

“Trait d’Union” –the French title of the exhibition– is composed of 35 paintings of Olive Trees drawn by Israeli women coming from every cultural and religious backgrounds of the Israeli society. Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Circassian Israeli women sharing their stories and hope for a brighter future. For Daniel Benn, Director of WIZO Community Centre of Afula, this project “proves that we can sustain a society where everyone is respected, appreciated, loved. A society where everyone can realize its role in the community.”

“To me, women empowerment is not a slogan. It is an essential component of peace.​

The opening – which was attended by 130 women, men, diplomats, art lovers and NGO representatives- was also the opportunity to highlight the importance of women empowerment, just a week after marking the International Day for Women’s Rights. Ambassador Eviatar Manor, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN in Geneva, highlighted that much remains to be done to ensure full enjoyment of equal rights, and Francesco Pisano, Chair of the UNOG Cultural Activities Committee, stated that “in many instances, women hold the key to conflict transformation and peace making.” This was reemphasized by Ambassador Manor who stated: “To me, women empowerment is not a slogan. It is an essential component of peace. Women in the workforce will contribute to economic growth, demographic revolutions will contribute to prosperity and development, and education will unchain the shackles imposed by religion and male dominance in our region.” We then invite you to visit this beautiful exhibition, appreciate the artistic experience offered by these inspiring women, and travel to a land of Peace and Coexistence, where Olive Trees grow since thousands of years.

The exhibition “Women and Their Olive Trees”/”Trait d’Union” is visible in the Palais des Nations (United Nations) until 31st of March 2016. To access the Palais, please contact publicdiplomacy@geneva.mfa.gov.il