Israeli High Court: Gender-Separate Academic Programs Are Legitimate But Female Lecturers Must Be Permitted

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JERUSALEM (VINnews) — The Israeli Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Higher Academic Council can allow gender-separate programs for academic studies in order to enable the integration of the chareidi community into academia. The court was ruling in response to a petition seeking to close the gender-separate programs since they discriminate against females by preventing them from lecturing to males.

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However even though the court allowed the programs to continue, it stipulated that they should enable women to use the public areas within the institutions and that there should not be a policy which prohibits women from lecturing to men.

Thus, the programs themselves might remain separate but women could theoretically study in public areas on the men’s campus and could claim discrimination if they are not offered employment in the men’s campus. Moreover the court restricted the separate programs to first degree studies and did not permit any advanced degree gender-separate programs, despite the fact that such a program already exists at Michlelet Orot in Elkana.

It should be noted that the decision to force chareidim who wish to integrate into academia to hear lectures from female lecturers and maintain student- teacher contact with them effectively contradicts the declaration that chareidim should be allowed to integrate since a large majority of chareidi students will not want to take part in such a framework. Thus, in reality the court decision discriminates against the chareidi public who wish to pursue higher academic studies.

 


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