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First deaf woman to run for Knesset

First deaf woman to run for Knesset

January 9, 2019 by Aryeh Savir – TPS
Shirley Pinto made history Tuesday when she announced she was running in the upcoming elections to the Knesset, the first deaf woman in Israel’s history to do so.

Minister Naftali Bennett, Shirley Pinto and Ayelet Shaked

Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, the leaders of the newly established “New Right” political party, announced that Pinto would be running on their list.
Pinto is a social activist and works for the advancement of the rights of the deaf, and is one of the founders of the Israeli Center for Deaf Studies.
Pinto, 30, was born in Kiryat Bialik to a traditional home. She completed her military service in the Air Force Technical Directorate as a project manager in the Logistics Equipment Division.

She received a medal of excellence from the Commander of the Air Force, Maj. Gen. (res.) Ido Nehushtan, and the President’s Excellence Award from Shimon Peres in 2009.

Pinto graduated from the Netanya Academic College with a Bachelor’s degree in Law. She has served as a lecturer in sign language translation studies at Bar-Ilan University since 2016.

Pinto stated that she was “happy and excited” to join the new political party.

She vowed to act “with full force” on behalf of Israelis with disabilities and to “be their power in the Knesset,” with the objective of making Israel an “accessible, egalitarian and inclusive” society.

Bennett lauded Pinto as “a true social fighter” who is joining “a team of fighters for the State of Israel.”

“Shirley is making history and is breaking the glass ceiling of the deaf public in Israel” by deciding to run for a Knesset seat,” he added.

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