IDF rejects allegations of discrimination against female soldiers receiving fertility treatment

In statement to Post, military says a 'broad defense' is given to career soldiers during their absence and for 150 days afterwards.

March 8, 2016 14:35
1 minute read.
A female IDF soldier

A female soldier has mud applied to her face for camouflage in this photo from an IDF Instructors course in 2006.. (photo credit: IDF FLICKR)

The IDF on Tuesday rejected claims made by the Israel Bar Association, according to which female career soldiers undergoing fertility treatment are subject to discriminatory treatment.

In a statement sent to The Jerusalem Post, the IDF Spokesman Unit said the military “provides a broad defense against the firing of female career soldiers who are receiving fertility treatment, both during their absence and for 150 days afterward.”

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In cases where the IDF has chosen to release female career soldiers who are receiving fertility treatment, the issue is closely examined by Personnel Directorate officers, in line with military orders, the Spokesman Unit argued.

“Every case is closely examined and thoroughly discussed, after the soldier’s requests, and those of her representatives, as well as the Corps [in which she serves] and her commanders are heard,” it added.

On Monday, the Israel Bar Association said it would push forward legislation that will give female career IDF soldiers undergoing fertility treatments the same level of protection as that afforded to their counterparts in the civilian job market.

The legislation represents “an important social repair that fixes the discrimination of career [IDF] personnel compared to their counterparts in the civilian job market,” said Efi Navi, head of the Israel Bar Association (IBA).

“It is inconceivable that those who contribute so much to the state will be the ones discriminated against by it, and, specifically, when they are in a sensitive medical situation,” he added.

But the IDF said in its response that all decisions on releasing such soldiers take into account “all of the soldiers’ personal and social circumstances. Where there is the slightest doubt linking her release to the fertility treatment, the IDF stops the release process.”

An IDF source added that process of releasing female career soldiers “is similar to that in the private sector.”

Out of nine such cases that occurred between 2011 to 2014, seven ended with the soldiers being released, and two were allowed to rejoin the IDF.

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