On Tuesday night Radio Kol BaRama celebrated its third year. While the leadership of Shas celebrated with the radio station inside, Israel Hofshit volunteers stood outside protesting and handing out consciousness raising material against the radio stations policies.
The Kol BaRama radio station limits the sound of female voices, even speaking voices, to one hour a week. Outside of that one hour show there are no female broadcasters, no women interviewed, no women calling in. They insist that their listeners don’t want to hear women, and that they will be economically damaged if there is more than one hour of programming.
Opponents argue that the refusal to employ or broadcast women is against Israeli law and the policy of the Israeli broadcasting association that hands out private radio station contracts. A formal complaint was lodged with the Second Authority for Television and Radio over a year ago. Knesset members have held hearings on the matter. NGOs have filed legal a complaint in the Israel Supreme Court. Former Sephardi chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef has issued a formal decision that women’s speaking voices on the radio are permitted. However, government bodies either won’t or can’t pressure them into adding more radio stations. Despite the station’s continued resistance, Shas leaders showed up to celebrate with the radio station. Shas is one of the political parties in the ruling coalition. Continue reading