Gender Equality in Public Secular Spaces in Israel

Gender Equality in Public Secular Spaces in Israel (2012)

Background

Israel was established as a democratic state. Its Declaration of Independence proclaims that Israel will “uphold the full social and political equity of all of its citizens, without distinction of race, creed, or sex.”

There have been increasing incidences attempting to enforce gender segregation in public secular places in Israel. Gender-based discrimination has occurred on sidewalks, streets, public buildings, and most notably on some public buses where it has become common practice to force women to sit in the back. Women in such public spaces have been the victims of physical violence and abuse.

Resolution

WHEREAS the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled forced gender segregation on public buses to be illegal, the number of bus lines that force women to the back of the bus has grown;

WHEREAS rabbis and organizations in Israel, the United States and Canada have joined in condemning forced gender segregation in public and the use of violence against women and children, stressing that nothing in Jewish religious tradition condones this behavior,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Women’s league for Conservative Judaism through its sisterhoods and region leadership:

  • Actively supports the ideal that every person, regardless of gender, deserves equal access and use of public services and public secular places;
  • Speaks out in opposition to discriminatory acts and behavior that seek to enforce gender segregation in the public secular sphere;
  • Advocates for the effective enforcement of laws that forbid gender segregation in public secular spaces in Israel;
  • Commits to communicating directly with members of the Knesset and government officials, advancing awareness of this problem, and supporting opportunities to help resolve it.