Religious newspaper bars women from Jerusalem event

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2011

A management conference organised by one of Israel's strictly Orthodox newspapers, Hamodia, was remarkable for one reason – not a single woman was allowed to participate.

According to Israel's Ynet, women of all religious leanings were prevented from attending the annual "Management Forum", at which speakers included the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.

The ban was deemed "humiliating" by women, not least because among the guests were the directors of high-profile Israeli companies such as Bank Hapoalim.

Female journalists were also stopped by security guards from entering the press gallery. One woman, identified by Ynet only as S, said the situation represented a dangerous phenomenon for Israeli society. "I hope people wake up before it's too late," she said.

The ban followed the worldwide controversy after the death of Osama bin Laden, when a religious newspaper in America Photoshopped Hillary Clinton out of a photograph of the White House situation room.

Hamodia said the decision was taken because of modesty considerations and added that it also held two annual conferences specifically for women.

Last updated: 10:02am, December 6 2011