The Israel Medical Association deserves our thanks!
The Israel Medical Association did a brave thing. It issued new ethical guidelines last week that prevented its members from speaking at a gynecology conference in which women experts were barred from speaking. In doing so, it sent a clear message that mainstream Israel rejects the denigration of women.
Thank Israel’s doctors for affirming women’s rights. Use the form below to write Dr. Leonid Eidelman, chairperson of the Israel Medical Association.
The conference, sponsored by a group called Puah, not only banned women from making presentations. It also enforced segregated seating in the audience.
Puah argues that excluding women from a conference on women’s reproductive health is necessary to prevent ultra-Orthodox rabbis from walking out of the sessions. That's bogus. Judaism prioritizes preserving human health and life.
This type of fundamentalism has no place in modern Israel. That's why it was so important that the Israel Medical Association took the principled stance that it did.
NIF believes in gender equality. That's one reason why we've always provided funds to women's groups like Kolech--The Religious Women's Forum, which has been at the forefront of the struggle to bring gender equality to the Puah conference and to other places where religious considerations lead to the exclusion of women.
NIF also acts as a convener, uniting groups from different parts of Israeli society to share information and work together. Tammy Katsabian, our religious pluralism coordinator, brought together dozens of groups to collaborate on opposing the denigration of women at this conference.
One outcome: 46 organizations -- religious, secular, women's groups and more -- joined forces to ask Israel’s Health Ministry (which provides significant funding to Puah) to see to it that the conference is integrated to include women experts. Click here to read the letter sent by this coalition.
Another outcome was the leadership shown by the Lobby for Gender Equality, which was influential in reaching out to the IMA's Ethics Board.
Your letter will reinforce Tammy's work -- and the efforts of Kolech and of our other allies -- to make sure that the IMA remains a partner in the fight for women's rights.