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20110713 MKs experience gender segregation first hand - Jerusalem
“Have the days of Rosa Parks, the African American woman who catalyzed the end of racial segregation on Alabama buses in 1955 returned?” Supreme Court Judge Elyakim demanded, “A public transportation operator, like any other person, does not have the right to order, request or tell women where they may sit simply because they are women…they must sit wherever they like.” Unfortunately, as the judges cannot prevent men and women on these bus lines from voluntarily separating themselves, the court did not insist upon ending the practice, continuing to allow the back doors to be opened for women to enter.
In practice gender segregation on public buses continues.
Today, a group of activists lead by Anat Hoffman of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism and MKs Nino Abesadze (Kadima), Dr. Rachel Adatto (Kadima), Nitzan Horowitz (New Movement - Meretz) and Ilan Gilon (New Movement - Meretz) set out to Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem, a dominantly religious neighborhood to board bus line 56 and investigate the practice of gender segregation on public buses. It was clear the practice is indeed implemented on bus number 56. Together with female volunteers the majority of the group sat in the front of the bus taking up the seats "reserved" for men, anxiously waiting to view reactions. While a few men crowded in the first seats behind the driver, others who figured out what was going on and perhaps recognized the MKs, chose to disembark the bus almost in hysteria, pouring out the door the moment the bus stopped. A few young women, sitting in the middle section of the bus, got up and moved to the extreme back to make room for the men, but in no case did these men move to the back of the bus.
Most women board the bus from the back to begin with. They have no choice. If they behave any other way they risk denunciation from their community or perhaps even worse, loose their chance of a partner in life through the Haredi matchmaking system. As opposed to the normal procedure of boarding only from the front, presenting your ticket or buying one from the driver and then moving back, bus number 56 is equipped with a multi-ride ticket puncher hanging on a chain near the rear door. It is there to allow the women boarding from the rear to independently punch a hole in their multi-ride tickets - proving Egged bus company is cooperating with the repulsive custom of degrading women contradicting Supreme Court ruling.
It was the young girls that pinched my heart. From the very beginning of life they are educated to believe their place is in the back; in buses, at public events, and anywhere else the Haredi community impose their despicable customs. They are brainwashed from day one to believe only in men.
HarediIsraelJerusalemJewishJewsJudaismMiddle EastMiddleEastRamat ShlomoSupreme Courtbridge the gapbusbusesdegradingdespicablegender segregationpublic transportationreaching outreligiousreligious coercionrepulsiveultraorthodoxwomen's Rights20110713X100020819FreedomRidersקווי מהדריןהפרדהאוטובוסאוטובוסים