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Thursday, June 26, 2014 

Sexist discrimination at Haredi colleges

If this news is accurate, Haredi colleges are not a recommended place to waste time at:
Gender separation in ultra-Orthodox colleges has increasingly come to mean blatant discrimination against ultra-Orthodox women, a trio of researchers told Israeli justice, education and employment officials today.

“Female teachers aren't allowed to teach male classes, whereas males teach both genders. Female secretaries can't provide services to male students, which infringes the right to equal employment opportunities,” Dr. Yofi Tirosh of Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Law told the officials.

“The courses offered are different for males and females, and the temporal and spatial arrangements discriminate against females, impinging on their equality and human dignity," says Tirosh. For example, in some colleges women may not enter these institutions on days reserved for men whereas men can enter on any day and work in the library or prepare for classes. Women must sign a document committing to adhering to a dress code, whereas men are not required to sign anything.”

Tirosh asserted that this “is not a situation of ‘separate but equal’, but of unequal separation.” Tirosh added, “There has been a substantial move to radically change the face of Israeli education, making it non-transparent. We want to stop this madness and understand what is happening.”

Tel Aviv University history Prof. Aviad Kleinberg, Hebrew University computer science Prof. Nati Linial and Tirosh detailed such concerns to representatives of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and Justice Ministry officials. The three suggested that in the Haredi school system, which in recent years has come under state control, receiving encouragement and financial support from the CHE and its budgeting and planning committee, segregation has evolved into outright discrimination against females.

The Ministry of Justice is currently in charge of examining different aspects of female segregation and exclusion, following last year’s report on the subject by the attorney general. This report followed events in cities with large Haredi populations such as Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, in which there is segregation on buses and in some streets.

After the meeting Tirosh said, “The public is unaware of the extent of the indignity inflicted on these women. The attitude according to which inclusion of the Haredi population justifies everything hides the extent of the inequality and loss of dignity suffered by Haredi women. Yet again, women are asked to move aside for the benefit of a national goal, while they are still far from achieving equality.”
What I'm wondering is how much longer any Haredi women experiencing this are going to continue wasting their time in communities that condone this kind of disgust. In a way, this is like imposition of sharia law. No wonder whoever the Haredi sects are running those colleges, they're not true practitioners of Judaism.

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Why go into Rechilut, especially about other Jews? Are there not enough topics to elaborate on rather than engage in Lashon Hara?

If you must know, I don't take everything a leftist paper like Haaretz says at face value. But there have been some worrisome reports of poor conduct in some Haredi communities in the past couple years that more reliable papers like Israel HaYom spoke about too, and I felt something had to be done, especially after I found a former Haredi living in the midwestern USA who'd become a bizarre leftist blogging about these issues but not doing it altruistically. So, I decided I'd have to take up the challenge of writing about these kind of subjects to serve as a counter to the unnamed clown's left-leaning cynicism. The difference is that I do it from a perspective that respects Judaism, and rest assured that I don't think all Haredis are inherently bad. But depending which colleges are in focus and what outfits are running them, that's why someone needs to speak up. I certainly won't approve of anything a movement like the anti-Zionist Satmar sect does, and if the report has any accuracy, and sects like Satmar have anything to do with the college management, then simply put, I will voice my disapproval.

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