This photo gallery says it all. On Sunday night, haredim and non-Haredim met at Bar Ilan for a seminar on the media portrayal of the relationship between haredi and non-Haredi Israelis.
Kikar haShabbat published a photo gallery of the meeting. Although Haredi attitudes towards women in the public space has been at the center of these relationships, not a single women was present to discuss the matter, neither on the speakers panel nor on in the audience. Picture after picture make it clear that only men were welcome to meet, study, and discuss the issue. There isn’t even evidence of an area set off by a mechitza so that female journalists and others interested in the issue could attend.
The exclusion of women from matters that directly affect them is a continuing problem. At the beginning of January, Puah held its 12th annual conference “Innovations in Gynecology/Obstetrics & Halacha”. Although women scientists and doctors are among the leading innovators in gynecology and obstetrics no women were asked to speak at the conference.
For Haredim this exclusion means that they simply do not get exposure to all of the information needed to resolve their conflicts with non-Haredim. Women are so completely absent that their absence doesn’t even register as missing information. For both Haredi and non-Haredi women alike, it means that their voices are not heard. At best they are forced into a dependent position that makes them entirely dependent on sympathetic men to have their voices made known.