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Mehadrin Buses May Not Open Rear Doors for Women

egednnDuring the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday 2 Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, the government addressed discrimination against women, i.e. mehadrin bus lines. The discussion focused on a report prepared for the cabinet by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Sports & Culture Minister Limor Livnat.

The report dates back to Adar II, at which time the cabinet decided to become proactive in its efforts to prevent discrimination against women. In addition, the Supreme Court has already ruled that one may not compel others to accept gender separated seating on public transportation. A committee was established to monitor compliance with rulings prohibiting forced gender separation in public areas, including buses.

Some of the issues presented to the cabinet on Sunday included gender separation in cemeteries, chevra kadishas prohibiting women from giving hespedim in many cases, and of course the mehadrin bus lines.

Representatives of the Ministry of Religious Affairs explained that the ministry has issued directives prohibiting forced gender separation in a beis hachaim or a chevra kadisha prohibiting a woman from giving a hesped and as a result, the phenomenon has all but vanished.

Regarding signs posted in neighborhoods instructing women to remain on one side of a street, the report acknowledges the Ministry of the Interior has issued directives to local government but the trend continues in certain areas.

Regarding the mehadrin lines which are commonplace in chareidi areas, the report states that it is permitted for men and women to accept separate seating for as long as it is voluntary and that no one has the right to compel gender separated seating on any bus in any area. The report cites that monitoring of the situation shows that forced separation continues on mehadrin lines in violation of the law. The report states that not everyone agrees voluntarily but many are compelled as they are intimidated by verbal insults, social pressure and at times, physical persuasion. One of the main problems cited is the continued policy of opening the rear doors of a bus for women to get on in direct violation of the law.

The members of the team monitoring the situation reported that most of the changes that were to have taken place have yet to occur. It was decided that the rear doors of a bus will no longer be opened to permit women to get onto a bus and everyone, men and women, will have to use the same door. The committee calls on the Ministry of Transportation to increase the number of inspectors to increase enforcement of the laws that prohibit compelled gender separation.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz is expected to issue a directive to all bus companies that they may no longer open rear doors to permit women to get on towards compelling all passengers to use the front door of a bus.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

9 Responses

  1. Will they allow gender specific seating in banquet halls, schools, shuls, etc? Will it be permissable for non-profit organizations (NGOs) to make distinctions based on gender.
    Is there a future for Judaism (as defined by Bnei Torah, based on halacha) in the zionist state, or is it time to consider the alternatives.

  2. This will cause gender discrimination when all those mothers are forced to get their carriages on at the front of the bus and clog the aisles. Have you ever tried to get past 2 or three baby carriages on a bus?

  3. Where does the extra money for the extra inspectors come from? For incitement against chareidim there is no shortage of money or manpower!

  4. Next they will force men android women to sit next to eachother in shul? Why are there separate bathrooms in public places??

  5. Are we talking about the bus driver sees one passenger that wants to get on – a woman- and only opens the back door and not the front one for her because other than that situation it’s not clear how they could monitor or enforce something like this. Unlike some buses in Ch”ul the only pace you can pay on an egged bus is in the front so even if a lady gets on via the back she still has to walk up the aisle to the front to pay anyway. If the driver let’s her on without coming up to pay and then an inspector comes on to scan everyone’s rav kav cards he’ll see a passenger didn’t pay and I’m assuming the driver will get in trouble so I’m sure drivers won’t let people get on the back and stay back there anyway. Sounds like some politicians are just looking for a fight when there needn’t be one. Maybe after the failure of peace talks everyone knew wouldn’t work Ms. Livni needs to find a justification for her paycheck

  6. You probably not post this, but it’s important and you can edit it…Maybe start forcing women and men to dress the same??? what’s next operations to make men and women the same. Make men have babies?? This is nuts!!

  7. This is not talking about situations where the back door is more sensibly used-like for strollers for example. This is talking about where all women must get on at the back of the bus “where they belong” the idea that a woman cannot sit on the opposite side of the isle is ludicrous. The idea that an old lady cannot get a seat closer to the front of the bus while the back of the bus is full and there are empty seats in the back is insane. You don’t want to look at women-stay inside or hire your own bus. Just because you are insane doesn’t mean the country has to bend to your every request. Sit down-take a seat. If you see a woman standing because 2 guys are now taking up 4 seats-combine and let the woman sit down. I don’t think men and woman should sit next to each other (even though there are many stories of gedolim who sat next to women) that doesn’t mean that the women should be delegated to the back of the bus.

  8. Sunday was Rosh Chodesh Tammuz 1. Today, Monday, is Tammuz 2 — you people should be careful to use Jewish details appropriately, and if you never learned in yeshivas, then have others look over your articles before publishing them — otherwise you will spread am ha’artzus and ridicule Jewish knowledge for no reason.

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