Jewish Women International (JWI) expresses strong condemnation over a wave of violence and intimidation targeting women and girls in Israel. Recent events highlighted by the media, including the ongoing assault of 8-year-old Naama Margolese by ultra-Orthodox extremists as she attempted to enter a modern orthodox girl’s school in Beit Shemesh, have focused international attention on the continued harassment and assault of women and girls and resulted in multiple public protests in Israel.
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“JWI vigorously opposes the recent wave of gender violence being committed in Beit Shemesh and urges the Israeli government to implement a strong, sustained response,” said Lori Weinstein, JWI Executive Director. “This is a pivotal time for women’s rights in Israel and we urge all American Jews who care about the well-being of Israel and importance of social justice and gender parity to speak out against the discrimination of women and girls in all forms.”
These recent events are part of an expansive effort led by groups of ultra-Orthodox men to institute gender discrimination across Israeli society, with a special focus on Jerusalem. According to recent reports, women, forced to sit in the back of segregated, public bus lines in Jerusalem who refuse to comply with the segregation system have been verbally and physically threatened.
“These recent, violent incidents in Israel aimed at intimidating and segregating the sexes are an affront to women’s basic and foundational rights. JWI will continue to work in the United States, Israel and in Jewish communities around the world to uphold and strengthen the safety, security, and equality of all women and girls,” added Weinstein.
About Jewish Women International
Jewish Women International is the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls. In 1943, JWI established the Jerusalem Hills Children’s Home, which treats Israel’s most vulnerable and neglected children by helping them overcome trauma in their early years. JWI also leads efforts in the U.S. to promote safer lives for women and girls as the principal leader of the Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally and as a Steering Committee member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women. JWI’s multifaceted advocacy efforts focus on the passage of the Violence Against Woman Reauthorization Act of 2011 and the International Violence Against Women Act while JWI’s healthy relationship and financial literacy programming help girls realize the full potential of their personal strength.