Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Michaeli fights for women’s rights on buses. Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch: What buses?


Minister of Transportation and chairman of the Labor Party, Merav Michaeli, has taken on a fight against the discrimination of women on public transportation in haredi-religious cities such as Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, and Bnei Brak.

In these cities, there are bus lines catering to the strict rules of modesty of the religious sector by having men and women sit separately or even having separate buses for each gender. Separate seating is voluntary by law, but women who sit among the men in a gender-segregated bus can be made to feel uncomfortable enough to move.

To combat this practice, five to ten undercover inspectors will travel on the buses to identify cases of gender segregation. Each inspector will work on 20 lines.

Dr. Aliza Bloch, Mayor of Beit Shemesh, commented on the initiative in an interview with Radio 103FM, "I don't even know where this idea came from. The public transportation crisis is so great in my area that people who want to leave the city are not sure they will even have a bus there or back. There is a complete lack of trust in the public transportation system. I'm missing dozens of lines."

"Ms. Minister," Bloch wrote on Twitter yesterday, "Let's first make sure that the bus lines arrive on time and at their destination, and then we'll be free to deal with other things. Thousands of my residents, secular and religious, young and old, students and pensioners wait on hot and rainy days, and simply do not get to where they need to go.''

The chairman of the Religious Zionist Party, MK Bezalel Smotrich, also criticized Transport Minister Michaeli after she presented her plan: "She is a failed minister who shows complete helplessness in the face of traffic jams on roads, public transport, ports, and the airport, and only concerns herself with cheap populism. We will replace her after the elections, with G-d's help, and deal with the real problems that are troubling the citizens of Israel.''

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