Gender Segregation in Higher Education Institutions

HCJ 6500/17 Dr. Yofi Tirosh v. The Council for Higher Education; HCJ 8683/17 Kohelet Policy Forum v. Council for Higher Education

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) and The Israel Women’s Network requested to join as amicus curie (friends of the Court) on two petitions on gender segregation in academia.

The first petition was filed by Dr. Yofi Tirosh and other lecturers who oppose segregation. The second was filed by the Kohelet Policy Forum, which endorses segregated studies, not only for the ultra-Orthodox, but for anyone who requests it.

The organizations argue that integrating the ultra-Orthodox into society is a worthy goal, but it cannot be achieved through gender segregation and the exclusion of women from the public sphere. A democratic society that respects the basic rights of all its members cannot accept that the religious freedom of ultra-Orthodox men requires making a public space sterile of women.

The organizations stress that gender segregation for religious reasons violates the fundamental right of women to equality in Israel and contradicts the basic assumptions of a democratic regime. This separation also comes into conflict with the High Court of Justice, which has often ruled that the exclusion of women from the public sphere for religious reasons is prohibited discrimination, and violates the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, the Women’s Equal Rights Law, the Prohibition of Discrimination in Products and Services Law, The Equal Employment Opportunities Law and the Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation.

On January 15, 2018, the High Court of Justice issued an order nisi on the petition, instructing the Council for Higher Education and additional respondents to respond to the petition within 60 days.


(December 2017) To review the request to join the petitions as amicus curie (Hebrew), follow this link.

To Review the High-Court’s decision (Hebrew), follow this link.


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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties, Right to Education, The Right to Equality, Women's Rights

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