"The Familists" Chairman Gil Ronen spoke to former Chair of Ne'emanei Torah V'avodah Tehila Friedman on Mondayt about the discrimination against women when choosing Israel Prize recipients.
"All those who won the Israel Prize deserve it, and we had an amazing group," Friedman said. "The issue is that nine out of nine were men. And that's not logical. The State of Israel is also blessed with women who excel in their areas, who have a lot of talent, and [the fact that] not a single woman won the Israel Prize seems to me to be illogical."
On Monday morning, eleven of the thirteen Israel Prize winners were announced. The only woman among them was Yehudit Bronicki, who won the Industry Prize along with her husband Yehuda after the two founded Ormat Technologies, an alternative energy company.
Friedman also said she does not believe there choice was intentional or meant to be discriminatory.
"We tend to see those who are like us," she said, noting that most of the committees choosing the Israel Prize winners are headed by men.
Ronen noted that 20% of Nobel Prize winners throughout the years are Jews, most of them Ashkenazic men.
"So what does that mean?" he asked. "That the world loves Ashkenazic Jews? I think the world hates Jews. But still we give them prizes, because apparently there are still places which care about achievement."
"Women and men are simply very, very different. And that's something that all those who deal in feminism want us to forget, because it's really important for them to continuously fan the flames so there's a feeling of discrimination. Because otherwise, they'll be out of a job."
He also noted that there are occupations in which women are the majority, such as nursing, social work, and preschool education, while men tend towards more practical fields of work. Those fields predominantly preferred by men tend to be the same fields the Israel Prizes are in, Ronen said.
"Women simply think differently," Ronen emphasized. "And I think it's time we honored women's right to be different. If tomorrow we give Israel Prizes in fields dominated by women, more women will win the prize each year."