Gradual abolition of women’s rights: The other side of judicial reform in Israel

Although they brandish flowers and Israeli flags dyed pink, their message is vehement and unsweetened: tens of thousands of women take to the streets of Israel to denounce the slow, but effective abolition of their rights with the judicial reform promoted by the “fascist and misogynist” by Benjamin Netanyahu.

We are here to show legislators and those who call themselves leaders that we are here to stay, to fight for our future, our rights,” a fierce Lia Lev told EFE, who at the age of 18 walked in a protest caravan from Tel Aviv to the Parliament in Jerusalem to participate this week in the massive demonstrations against the reform she is promoting. the government, the most right-wing in the history of Israel.

Marva Tovia, a 42-year-old teacher, also came with her five-year-old daughter to the protest on Monday.

That day, one of the key laws of judicial reform, which will reduce the power and independence of the Supreme Court, It was approved in the Knesset (Parliament), where the government coalition – made up of parties of ultra-Orthodox and ultra-nationalist Jews – has a majority.

Between tanks that shoot jets of water and the mounted Police, Tovia and her little girl avoided the repression against the demonstration. For this feminist, it is important that her daughter “see that if you want to do something in this world, you have to take care of it, promote change.”

Wrapped in a giant rainbow flag, Anat Gutman denounces that “this government hates women”. “They are fascists, homophobes and misogynists.”

With the approval of her reform, “women’s rights will be slowly and gradually abolished”, until Israel becomes “a kind of Iran”, describes this 43-year-old writer, a lesbian and a religious Jew, who fears that the coalition will annul the right to adopt for the LGTBI+ community.

I have two wonderful children. I did not father them, but they are mine as any child belongs to its parents“, Explain.

A “THEOCRACY”

Lacking a constitution, Israel “has always been a biased theocracy,” and judicial reform “erodes all the counterbalancing mechanisms we had, which can easily harm women,” explains Susan Weiss, founder of the Center for Women’s Justice, which provides legal assistance to women in Israel.

The expert anticipates that discrimination against women “will be even worse” after the reform, since certain laws or decisions cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court, “impunity” will reign, especially in matters of gender segregation and women’s rights to access certain jobs, property or religious practices with the same privileges as men.

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In the government coalition, only nine of 64 seats are held by womenwhile among the 32 cabinet portfolios, there are only six ministers.

In addition, the coalition has taken action in Parliament to strengthen the rabbinical courts that – governed by the norms of traditional Judaism – do not conceive gender equality, as well as to dismantle the institutions that protect women, and weaken the mechanisms against violence. of genre.

LEADING FEMINISTS

Since the announcement of the judicial reform in January, a historic protest movement has risen throughout the country that brings together various sectors: academics, financiers, artists, military, LGTBI+ collective.

Shikma Bressler, a prominent physicist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and mother of five, has become one of the leaders of the protests. She was the one who summoned the caravan from Tel Aviv, she was the one who, with her fist raised and brandishing a flower, called on the crowds not to despair and to continue fighting, after the legislative approval on Monday.

“These forced changes in the country are directed by groups of racist jews, fundamentalist orthodoxagainst women’s rights,” she explained to EFE.

“There are places in Israel where women are forced to occupy only the back of the buses, to dress in a certain way, the rights to divorce are narrowing for women,” she denounces, while many people, especially girls and women but also male soldiers, line up to take a picture with her.

Before putting his fingers in his mouth to whistle and lead a march, he underlines: “I hope that the girls from their homes can see and appreciate that we are fighting for their future.”

Between pink Israeli flags or fuchsia-tinted gas, various feminist groups have become protagonists of anti-government marches.

Bonot Alternativa is already iconic: its more than 100,000 members denounce inequality, sexual violence or the wage gap wearing white caps and scarlet capes, the outfit of the protagonist of the novel and television series “The Handmaid’s Tale”. ).

Hoisting his flag, Gutman promises victory: “We are going to win. They won’t win.”

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