Daily Israel Report

Activists to Hareidi Parties: Include Women or Get Out

Feminists ask the Elections Committee to ban hareidi parties over their all-male Knesset lists.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/14/2012, 10:38 AM

UTJ MKs and candidates
UTJ MKs and candidates
Flash90

Several feminist and “pro pluralist” organizations have officially asked the Central Elections Committee to bar the Shas and Yahadut Hatorah (UTJ) parties from Knesset. The two parties are the Knesset’s only hareidi-religious factions.

The groups argue that both parties have violated one of the Knesset’s Basic Laws. The Basic Laws were intended as the basis for an Israeli constitution, although to date no constitution has been written.

They say that hareidi parties violate the Basic Law: The Knesset by refusing to include female candidates on their lists. Both parties have affiliated women’s movements that do not run for Knesset. Women are not allowed to join the parties themselves, but only the separate women’s groups.

“The state must not escape its obligation in face of blatant discrimination against women,” activists wrote.

Among the groups signed on to the bid to disqualify the hareidi factions were Israeli Hofshit (Be Free Israel), the religious feminist movement Kolech, Uncensored (Lo Metznuzarot), the Feminist Lobby, and the Pluralist Lobby.