The Jerusalem Post
Haredi news site blurs out faces of government’s female ministers
The swearing in of the 36th Government saw a new host of politicians taking up cabinet positions as political power shifted away from the established figures who had dominated during the reign of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
However, some in Israel might not know the faces of their new ministers, as they were notably obscured by a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) news outlet.
A picture taken of the new government was shared by the haredi news site Behaderey Haredim. However, all of the women in the cabinet had their faces blurred out.
The trend in haredi media of censoring images of women is widespread, but is also relatively recent.
For example, in a picture circulated last week of the heads of the parties in the new government meeting together, the face of Labor leader Merav Michaeli – the only woman among them – was blurred out by the same publication.
But this is especially notable, as the 36th Government boasts a record number of women in ministerial positions, with nine out of 27 held by women, or 33%.
This is widely considered a historic moment for Israel, a country that despite many strides, is still considered by many as lacking in advancing gender equality.
Despite this, many readers of haredi news outlets such as Behaderey Haredim were not able to see their faces.
This problem extends beyond haredi media outlets in Israel and can be seen in their publications worldwide.
Recently, in New York City, a haredi Jewish woman who is running for City Council found that the local publications of the people she hopes to serve have refused to publish her face.
Other notable examples in recent years include when the Israeli haredi publication Hamevaser edited an image of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015 and when Mishpacha magazine faced intense backlash for publishing a photo of Hillary Clinton’s silhouette in 2016.
However, it should be noted that not all haredi news sites follow this policy. Notably, the Kikar Hashabbat website did not obscure women’s faces, showing the faces of Merkel and Karin Elharrar, Israel’s new energy minister.