Recent incidents have exposed a distressing pattern of discrimination against Israeli women on public buses. Over the past month, multiple cases have emerged where women were denied access or subjected to humiliation due to their gender or attire.
In Ashdod, a group of teenage girls were shocked when a bus driver ordered them to cover up and sit at the back. Video footage revealed the driver's refusal to let two accompanying boys sit with them. Similarly, Elektra-Afikim buses were involved in incidents where women were told certain lines were "only for men."
Gender discrimination persisted elsewhere, as a woman's inquiries were blatantly ignored by a bus driver in Ramat Gan who later admitted to not "talking to women." These events highlight the ongoing problem of unequal treatment.
Transportation Minister Miri Regev reacted firmly, pledging zero tolerance for gender exclusion in public transportation. However, these incidents reflect a broader issue. Reports of discrimination have included a bus driver in Eilat refusing to drive due to a passenger's clothing, and a Kavim bus driver berating a girl over her attire.
Even more concerning are cases of physical attacks on buses targeting women for their clothing. These incidents are prompting renewed efforts to address systemic issues within Israel's public transportation system, emphasizing comprehensive driver training to ensure respect for all passengers, regardless of appearance.
As Israel grapples with this deeply troubling issue, advocates hope the recent events will fuel meaningful change, fostering an environment where every passenger can travel without fear of discrimination.
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**What can be seen in the video:**
The bus driver separated a group of girls who were on a trip to the Sea of Galilee, while he seated the boys in the front. He demanded that the girls sit at the back and cover themselves: "The education you were raised on is the worst education possible. When you board a bus where there are religious and ultra-Orthodox people who respect their way, you should also respect their way. What do you want? That they look at your body? This is the Jewish state, and here you are living."