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Israeli parliament decides to ban miniskirts

By Charlotte England

Israel’s parliament has banned politicians, other employees and visitors from wearing miniskirts and short dresses. The revised dress code at the Knesset applies immediately to everyone entering the building, officials said on Wednesday. 

“Entrance to the Knesset is permitted only in appropriate attire,” stated a notice on the official Knesset website. It stipulates there should be no tank tops or spaghetti tops, cropped tops, shorts or three-quarter length trousers, ripped trousers, shirts with political slogans, short skirts or short dresses, flip-flops or open-back clogs, were to be worn in parliament, by "adults and youth aged 14 and over”. A Knesset spokesman said the dress code had already existed, but it was ambiguous and poorly enforced.  

33 of the Knesset’s 120 lawmakers are currently women, a record number in the country. But despite progress, many have complained of discriminatory treatment.

Earlier this month a new synagogue was opened on the site, causing the Knesset to come under fire when it was discovered the tiny women's section could only fit about half the female MPs inside and had no room for the hundreds of other women who work in the building every day. 

In spring 2016, a survey by an Israeli television channel found a number of the female MPs had been sexually harassed or assaulted in the past, and at least two said those experiences had occurred in the Knesset itself. 

Rachel Azaria, a Knesset member from the centrist Kulanu political party, said she had several bad experiences in her time as a Jerusalem City Council member. “There was an incident that repeated itself in the planning and building committee, of which I was a member,” Ms Azaria said. “Another city councilor would make remarks of a sexual nature regarding things that I said, and the whole room would burst out laughing. I consulted with the legal adviser and other officials, and they all said there was nothing to be done. It interfered with my ability to function, and I was very distressed.” 

Read the full story published by the Independent here

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