Hundreds of young Israelis, many wearing just bras and shorts, staged a “SlutWalk” through central Jerusalem on Friday to defend women’s right to dress as they want without being assaulted.
“No, that means no,” they chanted as the marchers, mostly women but also some men, made their way along Jaffa Road and near religiously conservative Ultra-Orthodox Jewish areas such as Mahane Yehuda where women cover up in long robes.
The annual march, held with a police escort, passed off without incident.
Margaret, 23, told AFP she was there to show that “all women and all men have the right to wear what they want… and that nobody has the right to touch or attack them for that”.
With bleached hair, a boyish haircut and several piercings on her face, 18-year-old Katie said such action was “very important” in a country like Israel where an ex-president, Moshe Katsav, is serving a seven-year jail term for rape.
Taking part alongside his girlfriend was Erez, sporting a beard and a dress.
Apart from a show of solidarity, he wanted “to make it loud and clear that the responsibility for sorting out this question lies not with women, but with us, men”.
Unlike Tel Aviv, Israel’s liberal city on the Mediterranean, Jerusalem is conservative and home to religiously observant Jews, Muslims and Christians.
In March 2015, a girl was killed and six other people wounded when an Ultra-Orthodox Jew attacked a Gay Pride parade in the Holy City.
The SlutWalk movement was sparked in Canada in 2011 after a police officer caused outrage during a speech to university students by stating that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised”