Court abolishes gender-separated course for haredim

Court rules that gender-separated Tourism Ministry courses are discriminatory.

Tzvi Lev,

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Flash 90

Jerusalem District Court Judge Oded Shaham ordered the Tourism Ministry to disband a gender-separated training course it offered to haredim, ruling that the separate groups between men and women "ceated discrimination".

According to Shaham, the Tourism Ministry did not provide a valid justification why it had gender-separated the course. The ruling was a response to a lawsuit by the Women's Lobby, who wrote when filing the case that separate courses for men and women "violates the constitutional right to dignity and equality".

The case is part of a growing feminist campaign in Israel to limit gender-separated courses that are offered to haredim. The amount of haredim entering academia has been growing steadily, leading institutions of higher learning to open gender-segregated courses in order to appeal to haredim. However, these haredi-friendly policies have drawn fire from the left, who say that offering separate courses amounts to segregation of women.

In November, the Hamakor investigative television program published an hour-long expose showing the steps various academic institutions have been taking in order to encourage enrollment by haredi students, such as removing pictures of women in the library, hiring more male lecturers, and removing material discussing evolution from the syllabus.

The report outraged the Left, which contended that academic institutions were violating their liberal norms in order to appeal to haredim.


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