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Female journalists allege gender segregation during Pence Western Wall visit

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Female journalists allege gender segregation during Pence Western Wall visit

Female journalists allege gender segregation during Pence Western Wall visit
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REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Female journalists covering US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Tuesday have complained of discrimination after being forced to stand behind their male colleagues.

Using the hashtag #PenceFence, journalists took to social media to protest their treatment at the holy site.

Reporters shared photos and videos of their view of the Western Wall, which was obstructed by rows of male journalists.

“We women are literally stuck in a pen,” reporter Noga Tarnopolsky said in a video shared on Twitter.

Others said the set-up gave their male colleagues an “unfair advantage” and made it difficult to do their job.

Following complaints about the arrangement, an awning blocking the women’s view was removed.

The Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City is the holiest site where Jews can pray. It is currently administered by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which follows the tradition of separating men and women during prayer.

A report in the Jerusalem Post newspaper said the segregation was in keeping with Jewish tradition, however, female journalists said they were normally given an equal view for press visits.

The controversy came a day after a female Finnish journalist of Palestinian descent was asked to remove her bra in a security check.

When she refused to comply, she was barred from visiting the prime minister’s office to cover Pence’s arrival, according to reports.