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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Israel's sexist bus policy banned

As reported elsewhere including in the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz the Supreme Court announced its decision regarding policy on 30 bus routes run by Egged, where women have been forced to enter and sit at the back of this bus.

Since the 1990s there have been an increasing number of routes within and between ultra-orthodox areas in Israel, where in order to keep the haredi market happy Egged has agreed to a policy on certain routes where women and girls are forced to enter and sit at the back of the bus.

The Israel Religious Action Center has petitioned against this policy and last week the Supreme Court announced that women would no longer be forced to enter and sit at the back of the bus if they do not want to.  The Court required the bus drivers to ensure this was the case together with Egged and the Transport Ministry who were order to have more inspectors to make sure women were not required to do something they do no want to do.

This was the correct decision.  We can not be living in a democracy where women are banned from sitting in certain places on the bus.  If the haredim want to ensure their modesty they can get on the bus in the same way as ultra-orthodox Jews do around the world on all forms of transport by themselves sitting or standing in a position on the bus where they can protect their modesty.  I hope that Egged and the Transport Ministry work together to ensure that the requirements of the Supreme Court are properly followed and do not again cave into pressure from the haredim.

1 comment:

  1. Chareidi women voluntarily sit in the back. They are not forced to do so. This is an issue of being flexible and sensitive to people's needs. A small segment of the population prefers separate seating when possible. This should not be such a big issue. This is not a "Rosa Parks" situation. Live and let live and let's all have some respect for each other.