Hundreds of women gathered in Tel Aviv on Friday to protest the demand by some religious elements to exclude women from public life in Israel.
Among those attending the gathering were Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni (Kadima), Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich and Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, as well as dozens of prominent businesswomen, journalists and members of the academia.
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"The fight against women's exclusion is a fight for Israel's future and it must grow stronger and louder," Livni said. "The situation is deteriorating rapidly and it's up to us to stop it."
"We've crossed a line when it comes to women's exclusion… this is a fight for the nature of Israeli democracy," Yacimovich said. "We are the warriors here and we will lead this fight. We won't allow for women to be pushed to the back – not on busses, not in the workplace and not in society. We are equals."
A fight the crosses political boundaries (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
Minister Livnat equated the shunning of women to violence, adding it was a dangerous phenomenon that must be nipped in the bud.
"All of us, together, will not allow this to continue. I believe that exclusion is violence against women," she said and urges men across Israel to join the fight.
"The Torah elevates women. It holds women in the highest esteem… This isn’t about which door we board the bus from. It's about women's honor. Women are powerful, if is wasn’t for us, men couldn’t afford to study the Torah."
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