Israeli lawmaker calls driver's test question sexist, demands reform

"D.) this is true only for women."

December 30, 2014 17:27
1 minute read.

Cars on a highway [illustrative]. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A particular multiple-choice question that appears on a driving theory test is discriminatory against women and must be rectified, MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) demanded on Monday.

As part of the process of obtaining a driver’s license in Israel, students must prepare for a theoretical exam in addition to their practical driving training. The offending question appears on a practice test in the Transportation Ministry’s online database for those studying for the exam. The question asks: "Drinking alcohol actively disrupts judgment ability, and the driver allows himself to take more risks." The test-taker is then instructed to choose one of four responses: a.) this is rarely true, b.) incorrect, alcohol improves driving ability, c.) true and d.) this is true only for women.

While the correct answer is "true" regardless of gender, Lavie slammed the Transportation Ministry for providing the last choice – criticizing the wording of the response as sexist. "I see this statement as blatant and intentional gender discrimination and seek its immediate repair," she wrote to the ministry's licensing department on Monday.

Many stigmas already exist regarding the relationship between gender and practical driving ability, and such "chauvinistic innuendo" should not come from a government office, Lavie argued.

In response, the Transportation Ministry told The Jerusalem Post that “this is a question that was cancelled two years ago.” Nonetheless, the question still appears in an exam archive from 2011 on the ministry’s website, as well as on other private driving training websites, which make use of the practice exam questions.

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