Israel's High Court rules that within 30 days, the state must provide the court with an explanation of why it does not mandate that licenses for operating public transportation will only be issued to companies that do not engage in illegal gender segregation. The ruling comes in the wake of Egged bus company's illegal gender segregation and its refusal to post ads containing pictures of women – even "modestly" dressed women or little girls – on its buses.
Court seeks clarification on Egged ads' exclusion of women
Egged refused to post ads with women on Jerusalem buses and now High court orders State to explain why gender discrimination being allowed to go ahead
Aviad Glickman • Ynet
Some three and a half months after they filed a petition with the High Court of Justice against the Transportation Ministry, police, Egged Bus Company and Cnaan Media PR – the court on Sunday served an order ruling that the State must, within 30 days, provide the court with an explanation as to why it does not stipulate that licenses for operating public transportation will only be issued to companies that avoid activities that may include gender-based discrimination.
The court also demanded that the State offer clarification on why it does not impose real sanctions on Egged when it goes against basic constitutional principles.
The petition was filed by a number of Jerusalem residents and the "Yerushalmim" movement after a social campaign they launched was not published on Egged busses. The petition claimed that the PR company refused to present the campaign over fears they would lead extremist haredi factions to vandalize the property.
The petitioners claim that this is illegal discrimination that goes against the values of equality and freedom of expression.
At the beginning of the deliberations, Justice Miriam Naor hinted that the State's declarations on the illegitimacy of discrimination and exclusion of women from ads were not enough, and that real steps must be taken to make PR firms end the trend.
The petitioners demanded that the transportation minister stipulate that a condition for receiving a license for the operation of public transportation be that the operator pledge to avoid all actions that include gender discrimination.
They also asked the police to use a firm hand when enforcing the law in general and specifically, in haredi neighborhoods. This, they say, includes bringing the bullies, law breakers and vandals to trial.