Sa'ar supports Beit Shemesh protest for women's rights

December 27, 2011 18:32

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said that he supports the demonstration in Beit Shemesh Tuesday for women's rights.

"Equality between men and women is part of the identity of any progressive state," the education minister said via a written statement.

He explained that Israel has made strides in the issue of women's rights in the last number of decades, but cautioned that unless the public is willing to fight for continued progress there are elements attempting to hold society back.

He declared that violent attacks against women are illegal, and warned that the state will prosecute perpetrators of such actions.

Women's rights has become a centerpiece of political rhetoric in Israel the last number of weeks since the issue of gender segregation on certain buses serving ultra-Orthodox communities went international, drawing condemnation in Europe and the United States.

Last Friday, a Channel 2 news report of a national religious girl who was spat on by a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) man for "immodest" dress sparked public debate, and helped inspire Tuesday's protest in the city of Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem.

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