16 August 2012
"Women of Jerusalem, Nice to Meet You – Because Jerusalem Belongs to All of Us"
says new ads featured on Jerusalem buses.
In a major victory for tolerance and equality, ads on Jerusalem’s public buses will once again feature images of women. Women have been conspicuously absent from such ads for more than eight years due to ultra-Orthodox pressure to remove them.
At the end of 2011, NIF grantee Yerushalmim petitioned Israel's High Court after it became apparent that the Canaan Ad Agency, which places ads for the Egged Bus Company in Jerusalem, was refusing to place ads with images of women in order to appease ultra-Orthodox residents.
Following the petition, the Ministry of Transport told the High Court that it would begin enforcing regulations that require Egged to place the ads on their buses.
Yerushalmim, which works to turn Jerusalem into a pluralistic, tolerant, and open city, has been at the forefront of NIF's campaign against the exclusion of women in public places. In 2010, Yerushalmim successfully won a high court order prohibiting gender-segregated sidewalks in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox Mea She'arim neighborhood.
Yerushalmim CEO Rabbi Uri Ayalon said, "Last year we returned pictures of women to billboard ads through our campaign without having to resort to the courts. Only the bus company's ad agency did not cooperate. But now they have been forced to so we have completed a revolution on this particular topic."
"We are currently targeting gender segregation in Kupat Holim health fund clinics,” Rabbi Ayalon said, “We have a lot of work to do, but we feel we are winning the battle."