Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein
Photo: Noam Moskowitz

AG reverses gender-biased student elections clause

Yehuda Weinstein intervenes in haredi college's student union elections due to gender-based code that leaves women out of race

In an unprecedented move, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced Monday that he had directed the Haredi campus of the Or Yehuda Academic Center to cancel changes in its student union election protocol.


According to the attorney general, the changes previously made to the election codes are damaging to equality between men and women as well as their rights to vote and be elected freely and equally.



The election code change, which was previously approved in February 2010, included a change to the way the chairman and deputy chairman of the student union were elected.


It was decided that the union chairman would be elected according to the gender to which the majority of potential voters belong, and he himself belongs to. And so, as most of the students are men, the chairman will invariably be one of the male students.


In respect to the role of deputy chairman, the election code stated the minority gender would select a candidate from the same gender, i.e. – women.


The Kolech women's organization decided to take on the case, asking the attorney general to examine the election codes for discrimination. In April 2011 the student union was told that the fellowship societies' registrar was considering whether to change their stance on the issue and cancel the election code change approval.


They main argument was that the approved clause causes gender-based discrimination and was damaging to equality between the female and male members of the student union as well as the right to vote and be elected.


Moreover, it was stated that the infringement on equality was also judged by the outcome as most of the student union members are men and therefore a woman cannot be elected to the position of chairman, without any legal justification.


After receiving a response from the student union and once again presenting the case before Weinstein it was decided that "there is a difficulty with pre-determining the election code restrictions in the matter of the members' gender when there is no reasonable argument that justifies the restrictions.


"Any member is entitled to apply for candidacy and be elected to the role if he or she received the majority of electoral votes, irrelative of gender."



פרסום ראשון: 08.08.11, 15:48
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