by Jill Finkelstein

Link Roundup: Legislation Against Discrimination

Welcome to this week’s installment of Lilith’s Link Roundup. Each week we post Jewish and feminist highlights from around the web. If there’s anything you want to be sure we know about, email us or leave a message in the comments section below.

Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that employers who pay men and women different salaries must prove that wage gaps are unrelated to gender. Therefore, women will no longer have to bear the “burden of proof” that they were discriminated against on the basis of gender; they will simply have to show that there is a significant wage gap. The ruling was made in response to a lawsuit filed by Orit Goren, a hardware store employee, who was earning 35% less than her male co-worker. The employer attributed the wage gap to the fact that Goren had asked for a lower salary, however the Supreme Court ruled that that was not an adequate justification for the wage gap. [Haaretz]

And Israeli Knesset Members Dalia Itzik and Haim Katz have introduced a new bill that would extend the statute of limitations of suing an employer for gender wage discrimination from two years to seven years. [Haaretz]

Democratic members of the U.S. Senate also took steps to combat wage discrimination by reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act was previously passed by the House of Representatives in January 2009, but lost by two votes in the in the Senate in November 2010. [The Baltimore Sun]

Following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, the House of Representatives passed their own version of the act, which omitted the Senate’s provisions that would protections to college students, members of the LGBT community, and Native American tribes and removed existing protections for immigrant women. [NY Times]

After 40,000 Orthodox men gathered together at New York’s Citi Field for what they thought was an all-male rally to discuss the dangers of the Internet, it turned out  that New York Observer reporter Adrianne Jeffries had snuck into the event disguised as a man. Women were banned from attending the rally. However some women were able to watch the speeches via live streaming on the Internet. [BetaBeat]

Breaking away from type, Chaya, a Hasidic woman who’s also a media professional with a Women’s Studies degree from a large, liberal university, wrote a self-revealing blog post attempting to clear up a few misconceptions about women in her ultra-Orthodox world. The post has generated plenty of response, largely from secular women. Among other things, Chaya states that, despite their modest dress, Orthodox women are not sexually repressed and are not afraid to explore their own bodies. In fact, they “stick [their] own fingers in [their] own vagina at least twice a day for 7 days of the month,” to check for the appropriate times for having sex [with their husbands]. Chaya, who describes herself as both progressive and happy,  rejects accusations that she was forced to marry her husband, whom she describes as “the most handsome, hot, attractive man in the entire world.” [XOJane]

Jerusalem City Council member Rachel Azaria explained why modesty often leads to late detection of breast cancer in the Orthodox community. [Haaretz]

Rabbi Miri Gold became the first non-Orthodox rabbi to be recognized by the state of Israel after the Attorney General announced that the state will now pay the salaries of Reform and Conservative rabbis, as they currently do for Orthodox rabbis in Israel. The decision was made as a result of a petition filed by Rabbi Miri Gold in 2005 demanding that non-Orthodox rabbis receive the same treatment as Orthodox rabbis. [Jerusalem Post]

Ilana Mills joined her sisters, Rabbis Mari Chernow and Jordana Chernow-Reader, in the rabbinate when she was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. HUC-JIC released a video celebrating the Chernows for becoming the first family to have all three of its sisters ordained. [The Sisterhood]

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