Female Lawyers Celebrate Women's Day in Stilettos

Even on International Women's Day, it seems the Israel Bar Association didn't get the message. If the event it organized for yesterday is any indication, women will be expected to breach the glass ceiling in bikinis and stilettos.

The gathering of the IBA's young advocates forum in Tel Aviv didn't miss a stereotype. Scores of women who attended the event could browse stalls selling jewelry, purses and shoes, while on stage they were entertained with makeup and hair-styling demonstrations.

Finally they were treated to a fashion show - half of it in black and white as a tribute to the black cape, white shirt and black trousers or skirt for appearing in court.

In the second half, skinny models paraded on four-inch heels in colorful Gottex swimsuits, joined by lawyers who became models for a day.

Attorney Yinon Heiman, the chairman of the young advocates forum, was apparently the target of some scathing remarks, because he felt the need to open with an apology.

"As this is International Women's Day, some people have criticized the choice," he said. "I thought it was okay because it's the young advocates forum. I don't think pampering and treats can be interpreted in a bad way, but it's my responsibility, and if anyone disagrees, I apologize."

After the hair-styling display, with hip-swaying models in the background, the surprise guest arrived. It was Saar Sheinfain from Big Brother - who is himself an attorney.

"It's the first time I've spoken since coming out of [the Big Brother] house. I'm glad you invited me and that it's for a good cause. I'm also glad you invited me to a celebration of Women's Day after the way I was portrayed in the media. I'm less aggressive than the way I appeared," he said smiling.

'An upgraded man'

"I think a woman is an upgraded man, another evolutionary stage after man. Women are better at almost everything except physical things. I employ only women because they're simply better lawyers."

His last remark won him stormy applause from his female audience.

Two young female lawyers thought the evening was going very well and had nothing bad to say about it.

"It's nice to get out of the boring gray into bright colors for a change," said attorney Michal Mualem-Shiferman.

"We don't see it as chauvinism or a fight for feminism because we don't feel there is any chauvinism," said attorney Nili Katzir.

"I think it's okay to give women their own corner every once in a while and show them a good time," said Mualem-Shiferman. "It doesn't do our struggle for higher wages and status any harm. On the contrary, it shows that you can enjoy things apart from work."