limor livnat 311.
(photo credit: Haim Tzach)
Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat told the cabinet Sunday the exclusion of
females from the public domain is a form of violence against women.
comments on the hotbutton issue about whether religious soldiers should be
obligated to take part in IDF ceremonies involving female singers came within
the context of a discussion in the cabinet marking the International Day for the
Elimination of Violence against Women.
“In the last few years there has
been, as it were, progress in the status of women in Israeli society,” said
Livnat, head of the ministerial committee on the status of women. “There are
more women in the Knesset, more women in senior management positions. But with
every step forward, we take a large step backwards.”
Livnat spoke against
what she said was a “worrisome deterioration” in the status of women in the
“The exclusion of women is a type of violence against
women,” she said.
Referring to recent phenomenon in the haredi community,
she said women were being deprived of their democratic rights if they were being
told to get on buses from the rear door, to walk on specific sidewalks, to keep
their pictures off posters, to not sing in front of men or have their voice
heard on the radio and to not eulogize their loved ones or accompany them to
their burial place.
“Where women are excluded, physical and verbal
violence against women grows, as does the legitimization to attack, embarrass
and humiliate,” she said.
Livnat called for the active enforcement of
laws protecting women’s rights and equality. She said she will convene a special
session of the committee she heads to discuss the issue at greater
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave Livnat backing, saying
there were problems of violence against women that do not reach the media,
“including that of discrimination against women in various aspects of our
lives.” Israel, he said, was established on the basis of equality between the
“I oppose discrimination of any kind against women. We are a
single island in a much larger area, a single island in which the status of
women is ensured by law. But this is insufficient. We still have much to do in
order to ensure gender equality and I say that the first thing is to provide for
strong enforcement by the legal establishment of the laws designed to ensure
that same gender equality.”
Science and Technology Minister Daniel
Herschkowitz (Habayit Hayehudi) said it was wrong to bring up the singing issue
within the context of a discussion on the elimination of violence against women.