Magazine article Tikkun

Gender Inequalities

Magazine article Tikkun

Gender Inequalities

Article excerpt

IN ISRAEL, FEMINIST CHANGES AFFECTING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN IN BOTH THE SECULAR AND religious spheres have greatly lagged behind those in the United States. If you didn't know this, there was often a reason: perhaps you thought that if Golda Meir could have been prime minister, an Israeli woman could do anything. Perhaps you assumed that the women in the army and kibbutzim could do the same work as men.

Even if you were aware of gender inequalities, you might have been persuaded that equal rights for women was a project trumped by the priorities of this war or that one. Perhaps you were persuaded that in a place where the sensibilities of the ultra-orthodox have been privileged with surprising accommodations, powerful traditions cannot be changed overnight without completely shattering the integrity of Judaism.

How easy it is to explain away lethargy and discrimination and to caution patience when the status quo does not threaten one's own human dignity. It is easy enough to say that change happens slowly for those who can already pray at the Kotel wearing a tallit and reading from a Torah scroll; or for those who can freely remarry after a divorce without needing to receive a get. …

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