WIZO poll: Majority of haredim favor women working

WIZO will launch demonstrations protesting what it calls "recent women's rights violations."

haredi 88 (photo credit: )
haredi 88
(photo credit: )
Over half of haredim, both men and women, support career pursuits for women, according to a survey commissioned by the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO), but women's rights in Israel still have a long way to go. Ahead of International Women's Day, which takes place on March 8, WIZO released the survey on Sunday testing public opinion on career opportunities for women. The survey, conducted by Hagal Institute and polling 501 respondents, found that 54% of haredim were in favor of women working, while the remaining 46% felt women should not work outside the home. In contrast, 79% of the general population supported women working outside the home. In addition, 30% of the respondents said there was a disproportionately low number of women in politics (17 MKs) because women do not serve in IDF combat units. Some 20% said women were underrepresented in the Knesset because women do not understand diplomatic processes. WIZO also announced that as part of the celebrations, it would launch demonstrations protesting what it called "recent women's rights violations." A car convoy that left Tel Aviv Sunday morning will travel the nation from the North to the South, stopping along the way to encourage Israelis to sign a petition for "equal rights for all," WIZO said in a press release. The organization is demonstrating against the Supreme Court's decision last week to authorize the plea bargain signed by former president Moshe Katzav and the state attorney, which exonerates Katzav of severe sexual harassment and rape charges. WIZO is also protesting a bill that would expand the jurisdiction of rabbinic courts that deal with divorce matters. WIZO chairwoman Yochi Feller said the car convoy was an attempt "to wake people up to the fact that in Israel of 2008, women do not enjoy equal rights."