A Haredi political party in Israel removes restrictions to women running for office.
Itach Maaki members celebrate the landmark decision.

The Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) political party Agudat Yisrael, had a clause in their party’s charter that prevented women from joining the party and running for political office. Itach Maaki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice, a Hadassah Foundation grantee, managed ten women’s groups in their suit—lasting more than two years—against Agudat Yisrael. The women’s groups declared that the party promoted gender discrimination by using the word “men” when listing membership requirements.

As a result, in January 2019, the Israel High Court mandated that the party’s charter be amended to include women. The Court sent a clear message – excluding women in any political party is forbidden. 

Supreme Court President Justice Esther Hayut states women must be able to obtain political party membership.

“There will not be any rules preventing acceptance of a woman as a party member… If the rules are not amended and any woman is barred from joining the party, she may petition the High Court.”

–Supreme Court President Esther Hayut