Israeli Doctors Withdraw From Fertility Conference Over Exclusion of Women

Pua, an group offering gynecological and fertility counseling in accordance to Jewish law, notifies female medical professionals they will not be able to speak, participate at the event.

Two prominent Israeli doctors canceled their participating in a conference on fertility and Jewish law organized by a religious medical advocacy group over the apparent exclusion of women speakers from the event, Haaretz learned on Thursday.

The event is organized by Pua, an organization offering gynecological and fertility counseling in adherence with Jewish law, or Halakah, and is planned to take place next week in Jerusalem. Pua is a public group that regularly receives state funds.

premature babies - Nir Keidar - 08112011
About 2% of babies, a total of 3,200 a year, are born prematurely. Nir Keidar

However, the conference came under severe criticism on Wednesday, after it became known that organizers informed female gynecological and fertility professionals that they would not be able to speak at the event nor participate in any of its panels.

In response, a Facebook campaign was launched to protest the exclusion of women from a gynecological conference, one which apparently brought about the withdrawal of two of its speakers from the event: Prof Yuval Yaron from Ichilov Hospital’s Lis Maternity Hospital and Prof Uriel Elchalal of Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem.

In a letter to the session’s organizers, Yaron said that “the assertion that women cannot be invited as lecturers in a conference on women’s medicine is both professionally absurd and represents an exclusion of women in the full sense of the word.”

Read this article in Hebrew