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n South African Journal on Human Rights - Benign segregation? A case study of the practice of gender separation in buses in the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine, from the perspective of moral and political theory, the practice of separate seating for men and women in buses operating in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Israel. Its approach however differs from much of the discourse concerning multiculturalism. Instead of asking whether preserving cultural practices is a value that overrides the concerns for gender equality, this article suggests that the very characterisation of a practice of gender separation as discriminatory is culture-sensitive and cannot be detached from the political and moral convictions of the community that sustains the practice. This discussion raises questions that are analogous to the ones facing the South African jurist who wishes to reconcile respect for African cultural norms and practices with the provisions of equality and dignity entrenched in the South African Constitution.

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/content/ju_sajhr/20/1/EJC53125
2004-01-01
2016-12-04
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