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Saturday, February 17, 2018 

Gender separate courses for Haredis in state-sponsored tour guiding are inappropriate

It's great if the Haredi community's willing to do what it takes to work in jobs, but, not if they're going to go by customs that contradict free society:
The state agreed this week to cancel a gender-separate a tour-guiding course following a court petition by the Israeli Women’s Network arguing that such separation is discriminatory and forbidden in state institutions.

In August 2017, the Tourism Ministry published a tender for a gender-separate tour-guiding course aimed at Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) men. The Israeli Women’s Network claimed however in its petition to the Jerusalem District Court that “the stipulation in the Tourism ministry’s tender that the tour-guiding course be conducted separately on the basis of gender harms the constitutional right to equality and contravenes the instructions of the law for tenders and the law against discrimination.”

The organization pointed out that the course is a state provided service, subsidised by the state and the public purse, and helps define the labor market and professional networks of the country.

Judge Oded Shaham said during a hearing on Wednesday that the state would need to demonstrate “a factual basis justifying separation, because separation is discrimination and just once is sufficient to harm the right to equality.

It is thought that the ruling could have a significant impact on similar cases, such as demands for gender separation in institutions of higher education, the work place, and other forums.

Due to the pressure of the petition and the judge’s position, the state agreed to retract the tender and republish it without reference to gender.
If anything, the tourism ministry, if they're the ones who advertised the course, should not have put in pandering notions for Haredis. What they could've done was say they hope all segments of society will apply without letting "customs" get in the way, and they shouldn't be acting as though the Haredi customs involving gender segregation are even remotely acceptable.

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