A decision by the High Court of Justice to forbid advertising that censors images of women has given rise to a creative solution: The Cnaan advertising company, which handles advertising for the Egged bus company, has decided to nix images of all people – male and female – from its campaigns on Jerusalem buses.
The High Court of Justice late last month accepted a petition from the activist group Yerushalmim (Jerusalemites), requiring the Transport Ministry to uphold the law, after ads featuring women gradually disappeared from Egged buses in recent years.
The advertising companies have said they are afraid of vandalism by religious extremists and of hurting people’s feelings as a result of posting pictures of women.
The head of the Yerushalmim organization, Rabbi Uri Ayalon, was not impressed with the solution, telling Ynet “This is a familiar trick: Discrimination against women covered up by discrimination against men.”
Earlier, Ayalon claimed that Cnaan had covered up the bare arms of women in Yerushalmim’s ad campaign.
Apart from the dispute over advertising, women have been embroiled in an ongoing battle on various bus routes nationwide, where ultra-Orthodox pressure groups have sought to require them to sit at the back of the bus.