Women Oppose `back of the Bus’

An umbrella group representing Israeli women’s organizations has petitioned the High Court of Justice to rescind a decision by the transportation minister to separate men and women on buses that serve fervently Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. Under the decision by Minister Yitzhak Levy of the National Religious Party, women would be required to sit in the rear of the bus, while the front would be reserved for men.

The Israel Women’s Network said in its petition that the decision was discriminatory and violates the right to freedom of movement.

The petitioners also called on the Dan and Egged bus cooperatives to refuse to implement the new policy.

Defending his decision, Levy said it was only meant to take into account the sensitivities of the Orthodox population served by those bus routes.

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