Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, has ruled that a woman's voice can be heard on the radio.
The rabbi was asked to address the issue following complaints filed against haredi Sephardic radio station Kol Barama for refusing to have women present programs or call in as listeners.
According to a report on the Young Shas website, affiliated with party Chairman Eli Yishai, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef saw no halachic basis for banning women from the radio and said, "Let women talk. What's the problem?"
The complaints against Kol Barama Radio were filed in recent months to the Second Authority for Television and Radio, as well as to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. The Authority has begun discussing the issue and is even considering imposing sanctions on the haredi station.
Most complaints were filed by the Israel's Media Watch, which wrote to the attorney general that "such a reality, in which women are excluded, is intolerable in the modern era. This is not a private broadcasting body, but a radio station with a franchise from the State, and as such it cannot violate basic rights, values and norms."
The organization clarified that it did not expect Kol Barama Radio to broadcast women singing, which does not match the Halacha and the "station's nature".
Ynet has learned that one of the reasons for the quick handling of the complaints was the intervention of a female Knesset member, who was harshly criticized by one of the radio station's broadcasters but was banned from responding on the air.
According to the MK, this is another case of ongoing discrimination against women, as well as a violation of journalistic ethics.
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