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'Kosher' bus in Jerusalem
Photo: Atta Awisat
Hotline founded for women offended by 'kosher' buses
Groups fighting separation of sexes on buses say they will use special means to battle haredi inequity

Jerusalem-based organizations battling the so-called "kosher" bus lines – lines which require the separation of men and women – have established a hotline catering to women forced to sit at the back of the bus.

 

Founders of the hotline have begun to advertise it using flyers and signs hung throughout the city, which promise "never before attempted means" to battle discrimination in the ultra-Orthodox sector.

 

The organizations say that in recent years discrimination against women has been on the rise. "In sacred places like the Western Wall women cannot fulfill their religious obligations as they wish, and even on some of the sidewalks in Jerusalem," the ads say.

 

Yuval Yavne, an activist in the forum established by the organizations responsible for the hotline, says he and his colleagues "want the picture displayed in full".

 

"This is not just about buses in which women are forced to sit in the back, but also about sidewalks, places of prayer, and many other locations. The removal of women from the public sphere under the guise of halachic ruling is dangerous to democracy and Israeli society as a whole," he added.

 

One month ago a protest against the kosher lines took place in the capital. Demonstrators stood outside the gates of the Supreme Court carrying sign pointing those headed there to a specially appointed sidewalk. The signs called for a separation on the sidewalk between men and women.

 

"Women are asked to separate from their children and wives from their husbands. Please refrain from causing us to use violence against you," the signs said.

 

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