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Israel: SlutWalk to invade several cities

Half-naked feminists in Tel Aviv, then Haifa & Jerusalem

12 March, 13:55

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, MARCH 12 - A horde of half-naked women is about invade the streets of Israel, first in Tel Aviv (on Friday), then Haifa, and finally, even in the holy city of Jerusalem. The 'SlutWalk' is an initiative started by the international feminist movement, which began in Canada and has already been repeated in Europe, Australia and Asia. Women are called to stand up for their rights of sexuality and freedom of choice by taking to the streets in scantily clad dress and in their underwear, or dressed 'like sluts'. "The march intends to provoke," explained Tzafi Saar, who has a weekly column on feminism in Haaretz, while speaking to ANSAmed, "sort of like Gay Pride. Being able to walk the streets almost nude is not the problem for Israeli feminists. But it is a signal: we women do not have to hide our sexuality like society tells us to." "A miniskirt," added Saar, "is not a 'yes'. It is just a miniskirt. Many people don't understand that yet." In Israel in particular a women's freedom to dress the way she wants often clashes with rigid interpretations of religious laws and traditions, which are championed by the ultra-Orthodox community. "For several months there has been widespread debate in the country over the fact that the religious community wants to keep women on the fringe of public life. Everything began with the bus issue: in religious neighbourhoods women are forced to sit in the back of the bus to make room for men in the front. This goes against Israeli law, but too often the practice is tolerated by the authorities." The influence of the Haredim (religious fundamentalists) on Israeli society is growing: "A look at demographic figures is sufficient to display this. Ultra-orthodox families have lots of children: in cities like Jerusalem or Beit Shemesh, they dictate the rules." And last December in Beit Shemesh, an ultra-Orthodox man spit on an 8-year-old girl, Naama Margolis. In his opinion, she was guilty of dressing 'immodestly'. (ANSAmed).

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