Dozens March Against Gender Segregation in Jerusalem

Protesters march from central J'lem to ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim a day after High Court of Justice ruled that gender separation barriers were unacceptable.

Around 40 people marched from Jaffa street in central Jerusalem to the ultra-Orthodox Mea She'arim neighborhood on Wednesday morning to protest the phenomenon of gender segregation in the capital city.

The protesters marched under the protection of hundreds of police and security forces, with a helicopter circling overhead. The marchers held signs with phrases including "A woman does not need to hide herself" and "Jerusalem is not Tehran".

Anti-gender segregation protest in Jerusalem Spet. 29, 2010 Olivier Fitoussi
Olivier Fitoussi

The protesters included university students and Meretz party activists.

On Tuesday, barriers separating men and women on the main street in Mea She'arim were removed after the High Court of Justice ruled that the barriers were unacceptable.

The decision effectively ended a years-long tradition of gender segregation during the Sukkot holiday.

Aviad Hacohen, the attorney for the petitioners in the case, said the ruling sent an important message against discrimination.

"No more gender-based discrimination in the public space, including Mea She'arim," he said. "Every resident of and visitor to Jerusalem has the right to walk its streets, and the police must protect that right and prevent any attempt to violate the status quo in the city."