a different side of Israel

Tag: Women

Women in Iraq Forced to Undergo Virginity Tests

Most countries in the Middle East have a notorious history of treating women as second class citizens. There is now even more reason to believe that women are being held to unfair standards in a male dominated society.

In Iraq, some women are now being ordered by court to take a virginity test. In most Middle Eastern societies, women are expected to remain a virgin until marriage. Sexual activity before tying the knot is considered a dishonor to the family. In more traditional villages, some women are even killed by a male relative if it is discovered that she had engaged in premarital sex.

In the Baghdad Medical Legal Institute, women are being taken into a windowless room where tests are being done to prove or disprove their virginity.

Most women are admitted when the husband suspects his wife of not being a virgin. He then takes the matter to court where a judge can order the women to undergo a virginity test.

Aside from the women, the husband may also be tested for erectile dysfunction. Often times, the man will accuse his wife of not being a virgin in order to deflect attention away from his own shame.

If the test shows that the woman is indeed not a virgin, then there is no law to protect her. Her family would also then be required to repay for all gifts and expenses given during the courtship.

The human rights organization, Amnesty International, is currently looking into the matter and has described the virginity testing as a violation of human rights. The group has also said that the tests can be inaccurate at times.

In a culture where family honor is everything, women’s rights are being trampled on through these virginity tests. It is degrading and further illustrates that women are still being viewed as inferior to their male counterparts.

Girl Censorship in Haredi Press 2012

In a weird story of religious based censorship, a local newspaper blurred the faces of little girls that appeared in a toy store ad, without telling the store, drawing the ire of both customers and the chain. It seemed that this newspaper, which should be somewhat neutral in the process, angered everybody, and now the toy store Red Pirate is paying the price for it. This is a report of the recent events in Beit Shemesh.

It all started with innocent sounding ads, where boys and girls modeled some Purim costumes for a series of ads. These ads were then sent to Haredim papers, and that’s where the trouble began. According to the store, the newspaper board of editors took the decision to blur the girls faces, while the boys stayed fully exposed, without ever telling them about it. The firs to find out were those who read the paper and were shocked to see the advertisement. It didn’t take for many people in Beit Shemesh, where the papers are produced, to flock to the Red Pirate Facebook page and complain. One writes “I am a woman with a face, now I’ll know not to buy from your store!” Another asks “How disgusting.. Do you also spit on little girls?” The Facebook page in question was still growing daily with disappointed girls posting their thoughts.

Red Pirate meanwhile has to deal with the angry customers, while it claims it actually knew nothing of the situation. In a press release, the chain says that the newspaper took the decision and did not tell them about it. Meanwhile, the ultra-orthodox paper responds “Haredim won’t have an unclean paper enter their home.” indicating that it was done purposely. The protest meanwhile grew to impressive proportions in the community, and has no sign of stopping. It remains to be seen whether the paper will change it’s views or not on the issue, and whether the store will try to get financial reparation from Haredim. These types of cases often end up in court, as the store will no doubt suffer from loss sales because of this. Historically, there’s been many such calls for action from protest groups, and the stores affected usually see drops in sales.

This isn’t the first time religious based decisions lead to anger, and likely won’t be the last. Many religious texts prone things that have become known as unjust in modern civilizations, such as inequalities between men and women, or archaic practices. Often however, these religions change much slower than many would like to. One thing is certain, this event is more than likely not over, and we’ll see how each party handles this issue in the future.

Israeli Women Continue To Make Less Than Men

The average woman in Israel lives to age 83, gives birth to three children, and makes a third less than the average man, according to recent data published by the Central Statistics Bureau in honor of International Women’s Day – celebrated on May 8.Israeli Women Continue To Make Less Than Men

The bureau did find that in the past year, women have climbed further up the corporate ladder, with the percentage holding managerial positions having nearly doubled what it was in 1990.

The number of women who work while attending an institute of higher education also is significantly on the rise from observations in the past decade: from 39% to 48%.

The differences however in salaries, remain similar despite the progress made by women in the workforce. In 2008 the average male monthly salary was $2,548, while the female average was only $1,609 – or 37% less.

One explanation is this: women tend to work shorter hours than men, but hourly rates were also compared and found to be different, with women making 27% less than men on average, per hour.

The bureau’s data also shows that 152,500 women gave birth in 2008. Sadly around 11% of all pregnancies were aborted. Israeli women give birth to three children on average and live to the age of 83, while the average life expectancy for men is 79 years.

The bureau found that of all women aged 20-45 who worked and gave birth, around 25% ceased working, while just 1% of men stopped working due to a new baby. 16% of women lessened their work hours after giving birth, while just 3% of men were found to have done the same.

The number of women studying for their bachelor’s degree is steadily rising, with numbers reaching 55% of all students in 2008. 58% of all students studying for a master’s degree are women, as well as 52% of those found in the process of acquiring their doctorates.

Women are present in the highest percentage in education studies – showing 86%, as well as nursing – showing 81%. Though in the fields of architecture and engineering their numbers are lowest – just 27%.

Wake Up Guys -You’re Outnumbered!

As Israel enters into the Jewish New Year of 5768, it now has a total population of 7.2 million inhabitants. One statistic is particularly interesting – for men anyway – is the percentage of males to females. For every 1,000 women there are only 977 men! Of course, that takes all age spectrums into consideration, including the actuarial fact that women live longer than men: age 82.2 for women against 78.5 for men. Despite everything, there are simply more gals than guys, giving the male sex something to celebrate in regards to availability.

The sex discrepancy is present in most countries, and except in areas where women really don’t want to go to, such as Antarctica, or some other inhospitable place, there are usually more gals than guys.

Other statistical findings point to an increase in Israel of certain minority groups, including Arabs and the growing number of people classified as simply “other” (meaning they don’t have a particular known religion). Many Israeli Jewish men, in recent years anyway, have begun to marry non-Jewish women, including many women who originate from the Former Soviet Union countries, such as Russia and the Ukraine. The statistical studies also find that more than half of Israel’s population live the country’s center, which everybody knows is the best region to party in.

All of these facts do not help single women who are still looking for Mr. Right; and are reaching the age where they may have to think about settling for “Mr. Compromise”. Go into any of the many singles bars and other hang out places in Tel Aviv, and you can immediately see that men seem to have more confidence when it comes to hitting it off with available females. Naturally, this attitude seems to be be rampant with Israeli men anyway, which has long given them a reputation of being a bit “macho” when it comes to their treatment of the opposite sex.

All is not lost however, in regards to women who still find themselves without a mate or steady boy friend. Israel is still considered a ‘young country’ in regards to the number of its population being under age 30. Compared to Europe anyway, Israeli women have more children then their European counterparts. While that fact doesn’t console many women who are single and “not enjoying being so” it does mean that women do have that certain “something” that makes them attractive to men. A little ingenuity and creativity, otherwise known as seduction, does work in the right time and place.

As for you men out there in this enviable position of being more in demand due to being fewer in number: Don’t worry – be happy!

Uncovered Meat = Women?

A Muslim cleric’s claim that women who do not wear the veil are like ‘uncovered meat’ who attract sexual predators sparked outrage around Australia yesterday.

Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the nation’s most senior Muslim cleric, compared immodestly-dressed women who do not wear the Islamic headdress with meat that is left uncovered in the street and is then eaten by cats.

Uncovered Meat … I heard about calling a young woman a “Hamburger” as a term of endearment among teenagers. But this just sounds bad. I wander what Dr. Wafa Sultan would have to say about this 😉

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