Head of Ultra-Orthodox Women’s Party Answers Haters

Ruth Colian, the founder of Haredi Women Making Change, speaks with Israeli voters. Photograph by Bruce Shaffer/Hidden Sparks Photography.

In the women’s section of the haredi news site kikar.co, Ruth Colian the founder and and head of the ultra-Orthodox women’s party U’bezchutan — literally, “in their [women’s] merit” — writes about what motivated her to establish U’bzchutan and the choices she has made while under attack from the haredi establishment. (all translations are my own).

Since founding the party in January, the 33-year-old law student and mother-of-four has faced attacks from within her own ultra-Orthodox community. Various rabbis have called for her ex-communication and the Haredi press initially refused to print her ads. On the streets of religious communities she has been called a whore and has had water balloons thrown at her.

She describes a recent “joke”:

But nevertheless Colian chooses to forgive her detractors:

It’s unlikely the party will pass the 3.25 percent electoral threshold needed to enter the Knesset, but nevertheless this is a monumental step in the fight for women’s equality in Israel.

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