Regev Responds

Statements are not enough, with all due respect, but deeds are required…

Hiddush fighting for female appointees on religious councils

For many years, Hiddush has led the legal battle for women’s representation on Israel’s Religious Councils. Yesterday, we appeared before the Supreme Court in a hearing regarding the petition we filed on our behalf and on behalf of Israel’s leading women's organizations [Israel Women's Network, Naamat, Rackman Center for the Advancement of Women, and Itach - Women Lawyers for Social Justice], challenging the State’s non-compliance with the obligation to appoint women for the role of “Appointees”.

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For various reasons [usually political pressures], women have not been appointed as "Appointees” - administrators who oversee the operations of Religious Councils that have not been formed as required by law. Even when women have been appointed members of religious councils that have been properly formed, the field of "Appointees" remains with almost no women, contrary to the directive of the Attorney General back in 2016 [in response to Hiddush’s demand] to appoint women to this position and even apply the principle of affirmative action to them.

The State has requested another brief postponement to enable the new Minister of Religious Services, Matan Kahana from the PM Bennett’s Yamina party, to complete the formulation of the new policy, which they claim will give expression to gender equality. In a brief decision, the judges ordered the State to update the court by November 15th with the new policy formulated by the Minister, while emphasizing, in the spirit of Hiddush’s petition: “Statements are not enough, with all due respect, but deeds are required… there is no room to perpetuate the temporality and let it become a ‘permanent tenant’.” Stay tuned for the next chapter in November.

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