Last week, with the presentation of the new government, Haredi press decided to hide the faces of female ministers from the traditional picture of the government.
WIZO movement protested the exclusion of female ministers and sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which we call on Netanyahu to intervene
PRESIDENT OF WORLD WIZO, TOVA BEN-DOV ON THE REMOVAL OF THE FEMALE MINISTERS FROM THE TRADITIONAL PHOTO OF THE NEW GOVERNMENT
The exclusion of women in the Haredi sector cannot be understood or accepted. The removal of women from buses, pavements, billboards and places of work; the banning of women to drive or sing and other sorts of prohibitions;, are a blatant violation of human rights in general and women's rights in particular and undermines over a hundred years of progress we have achieved.
Unfortunately, distancing women from the public space exists in all of society and not just in the Haredi sector, through open and concealed manifestations of creating gaps, sub-representation and obstruction of advancement – the "glass ceiling" – leave many fields of society in a reality lacking women. This is where WIZO raises a clear and consistent voice saying – Enough with the exclusion of women in the public spheres of life.
WIZO works tirelessly to guarantee women's rights and their rightful place in the family, in society and in legislation. Women can sing, eulogize, drive wherever they like in a bus, be awarded a prize at the front of the stage and walk on any sidewalk they wish
I call upon all women– religious, secular, ultra-orthodox to oppose their being pushed aside in all fields of life and join the struggle to create an equal and healthier society for all of us.
Letter from Gila Oshrat, Chairperson of WIZO Israel, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Mr. Binyamin (bibi) Netanyahu
Israel Prime Minister
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Now that the efforts to form a government have been completed, on behalf of WIZO Israel, we wish you much success in handling the difficult and important challenges the government faces, for the future of Israeli society.
We also wish to welcome the historic decision to appoint a minister of gender equality, MK Gila Gamliel.
And yet, last week the traditional image of the members of the government was published and distributed worldwide. It was widely published that in ultra-Orthodox circles, the image was posted with blurred faces of the three women in the cabinet - Ministers Gila Gamliel, Miri Regev and Ayelet Shaked. Other ultra-Orthodox newspapers which published the picture edited them out entirely, using graphic software. The edited photograph of the new government was distributed in Israel and abroad and we have received letters of protest and many angry reactions.
On behalf of the Council of Women's Organizations in Israel, I would like to express our objection to the exclusion of women from the government's picture. We will not tolerate that extremist circles in Israeli society blur the faces of elected women officials, just as we cannot tolerate the separation of men and women on buses, sidewalks and so on. Women are a part of Israeli society.
The Israeli democratic society is committed to gender equality in which women must be seen and heard. Erasing women is not only an insult to them, but indeed an insult to the entire Israeli society.
Cairperson, Wizo Israel