"Women build bridges" festival celebrating 100 years for the international woman's day
"Women build bridges" festival that is taking place for the 5th time on the Israeli-Jordan border will celebrate 100 years for the international woman's day. The major event in the festival- the march- will take place on March 11th with 5000 women participating from Israel, from the Jewish and Arab sector, women from "Spring Valley" regional council, women from Beit Shean, religious and secular women, a group of women from Jordan and a group of women from the Cleveland community in the U.S.A. The march will depart from the observation point next to Kibbutz Gesher according to the signposts fixed at place. The route will go through fish ponds and water reservoirs, hosting these days many kinds of birds, until the entrance of old Gesher site.
An open bridge between Israel and Jordan
The opening of Sheih Hussein Bridge between Israel and Jordan after signing the peace treaty in 1994 became a symbol of bridging between the nations. The regional council "Valley Springs" decided to promote the bridge opening to creating social and business ties with the Jordan neighbors.
The initiative was taken by women and in 1999 the international women's festival was established with the title "women march to peace". The event took place on the Israel- Jordan border, along the Jordan River with 1500 Jewish and Arab Israeli women and a women delegation from Jordan. In the encounter were different sport activities for creating friendships between the nations. The communal activity created an emotional tie between the women and proved there is a reason to build bridges and good neighborly relations while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Women's delegation from Jordan
Since this initiative started four festivals took place, the last one on November 2008 in the old Gesher site that is located on the border. The number of participants went up to 3000 women and a delegation of 30 women came from Jordan joined by the former general Mantzur Iben Rashed, the manager of the peace and regional economic development institute in Aman. It was decided that year to commemorate the memory of Itschak Rabin and King Hussein by planting the "Leaders Forest" on the Jordan River banks. The forest that was planted with the cooperation of the JFK includes fruit trees that are characteristic of Israel and Jordan that will become a joint park, part of which will be in the Jordanian side.
March, conference and joint and happening
This year the festival will take place on the border between Israel and Jordan, along the Jordan River in Old Gesher site, as in past years. The program includes a communal march that will go through water reservoirs, fields and observation points towards Jordan and the river bed. In addition there will be a bicycle trip, a women happening, workshops, art display, activations, women encounters, shows and artist fairy. The march and the happening are free of charge.
The festival will open on Thursday, March 10th with a conference in Gesher auditorium in Kibbutz Gesher that will discuss the women's unique contribution in promoting the community and regional cooperation. The conference will discuss UN's 1325 resolution that declares the security's council obligation to protect women and insure their representation in peace processes and in the international politics and vision of leading women for regional and international cooperation. The conference will start at 17:30 and will include a number of lectures and forums, among them: A lecture of Prof. Gavriela Shalev, Israeli ambassador in the UN on "women in the international scene", a symposium about communal regional cooperation and a show of Si Heiman and the soul sisters "Ishi Nashi".
Entrance ticket- 35 NIS, with advance registration: 04-6065860