Charedi girls protest pressure to join IDF

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Charedi girls protest pressure to join IDF

Dozens of teenagers attending secondary school join campaign to voice concern over conscription of Orthodox girls

Female soldiers of the IDF
Female soldiers of the IDF

Dozens of girls attending national-religious secondary schools in Israel have joined a campaign to protest what they say is pressure from the Education Ministry to enlist in the Israel Defence Forces.

The campaign is organised by the conservative religious organisation Chotam in reaction to a ministry proposal by the Education Ministry to fund groups that guide religious women who want to join the military rather than perform national service. The number of young religious women entering the Israeli military has risen exponentially in recent years.

The girls are being photographed holding handwritten messages.

“Don’t interfere with our education. We believe in national service,” the signs read.

The girls say they have been pressured at school to join the IDF, Ynet reported.

Many high-profile national-religious rabbis have criticised young religious women who decide to enter the IDF.

High school graduates who show that they are religiously observant can be excused from military service. Most perform one or two years of national service, in which they are placed in positions in schools, hospitals and other civilian programs.

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