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Wednesday, May 08, 2013 

Attorney-general will work to make gender segregation a crime

Something's being done to crack down on Haredi discrimination against women:
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Wednesday adopted a Justice Ministry proposal to fight the exclusion of women from participating in public ceremonies, being featured on billboards and delivering eulogies at public cemeteries.

Weinstein contacted cabinet ministers with instructions to act quickly to implement the report’s recommendations and to eliminate the marginalization of women in the public sphere.

The separation between men and women is to be prohibited at the country’s HMOs, at all state ceremonies and state-sponsored events, and on public transportation. Moreover, the report demands that local authorities take steps to prevent signs being hung in religious neighborhoods that instruct women to walk in a certain part of the street or to dress modestly.

Gender segregation will also be prohibited in broadcasts of the ultra-Orthodox radio station Kol Berama. The report recommended that if the station does not change its policy prohibiting from women appearing on air within six months that the station be shut down.
Amazingly, a certain someone in the justice ministry has just said something positive for a change:
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called gender segregation an “intolerable crime.” “The exclusion of women from the public sphere is not only an injury to women’s dignity, but harms our interests as a society and has no religious or moral justification. It is a phenomenon that must end,” said Livni.
But would she be saying - or doing - anything if she were in charge and wanted the Haredi parties in her coalition so much that she'd be willing to appease that kind of mindset at all costs? Maybe not, and the MSM would surely cover for her. So it's lucky she's not the prime minister here, or this kind of horrific case would still prevail.

Update: here's a Haaretz article on how women's rights advocates have had some successes in fighting back against Haredi extremism, but the fight still has some way to go.

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