A grocery in an orthodox Haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem has barred women from entering the store during certain times.
Women are no longer allowed to enter the store on Fridays after 11 a.m. and the evening before holidays.
The store, located in the neighborhood of Mea Shearim, placed a sign in the window that laid out the reasoning for the rule change: “In light of the request of the rabbis of the neighborhood and a large number of our customers, we announce to all our customers the establishment of special times for women and men.”
Apparently, the store has had gender segregation for years, but customers had been ignoring the rule.
Despite most forms of segregation being against the law in Israel, many Haredi Jewish neighborhoods, due to their orthodox values, practice sex-based segregation.
Women in Haredi areas are told to sit at the back of buses and are required to walk on the opposite side of the street as men.
Israeli law states that some segregationist policies are allowed. Public places, which the store in question is, are allowed to separate between the sexes if “the separation is justified, taking into account, among other things, the nature of the product, the public service or the public place, its degree of necessity, the existence of a reasonable alternative to it, and the needs of the public that may be harmed by the separation.”
The issue of sex discrimination has been a touchy issue in Israeli politics, with Haredi-affiliated parties pushing other conservative groups to allow for more sex segregation at publicly funded events.