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Friday, August 03, 2018 

Court rules haredi parties must allow women to run on their lists

In a notable breakthrough, the high court in Israel has ruled that parties like UTJ (and hopefully Shas) must allow women to run for office:
The High Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that Agudat Yisrael, one of the Ashkenazi Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties that make up United Torah Judaism, must let women run for Knesset and for city councils.

In a ruling of five judges, the court ruled that Agudat Yisrael must remove a clause in its party charter preventing women from being members of the party. The judges told the party’s representatives to go back to its Council of Torah Sages and change the rule by September 2, three weeks ahead of the deadline for mayoral and city council candidates to announce their candidacy in the October 30 municipal races.

“This is an important step on the historic path on the way to integrating women in politics and preventing all parties from submitting lists that do not include women,” said Michal Chernovitski, an activist for Haredi women who heads an organization called Ir Ve’em (A City and A Mother, referencing Samuel II 20:19).
I think they'd do well to respect this ruling and start validating women who want to work in political roles to their lists, because doing otherwise is not being modern or recognizing their humanity. Look what the defense of their lawyers was:
Agudat Yisrael’s lawyers said preventing women from running was not a matter of Jewish law but of Haredi culture and values, and showing respect for women.
And just what makes those "values" and "culture" so acceptable in every way? What makes them superior to Jewish law? Because that's what they're inferring, and it doesn't make them look good. They'd do well to respect this ruling - an entirely legitimate one - and start allowing any woman who wants to work in politics for their sector onto their party lists. Certainly if they don't want to look like they're sticking with a backwards ideology.

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