Knesset staffers told: your skirts are too short

Parliamentary aides and MKs protested outside the Knesset on Wednesday after guards denied entry to some female staffers because their skirts were deemed to be too short.


Since the beginning of the week there have been complaints from parliamentary aides that they were being blocked from entering parliament because they were not adhering to the Knesset dress code.

After the media reported the issue on Wednesday morning, dozens of female employees arrived for work wearing above-the-knee skirts. When they were not allowed in, they were joined by their MK bosses.

Some of the male protesters wore skirts over their trousers. Labour MK Manuel Trajtenberg accused the Knesset guards of discrimination against women and even removed his shirt in protest.

In some cases, the guards asked female aides wearing long coats to open them up so they could check whether they were wearing short skirts underneath.

The last time there was a controversy over the Knesset’s dress code was in 2006 when then speaker Dalya Itzik forbade entrance to anyone wearing jeans. This prohibition was removed by President Reuven Rivlin in 2009.

The Knesset’s spokesperson denied there was a change in the dress code and accused the protesters of carrying out “a planned provocation”.

However, it seems that the enforcement of the short-skirt prohibition was prompted by a letter sent last week by Knesset CEO Albert Sacharovich, reminding employees and guards that those arriving at the building “must come in appropriate attire and cannot appear in clothes that do not respect the parliament, including vests, belly shirts, short trousers, short dresses or skirts and flip-flops.” Ironically, these regulations do not apply to the Knesset members themselves, who are by law allowed to enter the building dressed how they want.

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