Journalist asked to remove bra during security check, and why #PenceFence was trending on Twitter

Female journalists were asked to stand behind their male colleagues during Mike Pence's final stop at Jerusalem’s Western Wall. Irked by the biased treatment, female journalists took to Twitter to share their anger and slammed the White House officials, who had actually invited them to cover the state visit.

By: Trends Desk | Trends Desk | Published: January 25, 2018 5:58:14 pm
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence touches the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem’s Old City, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool photo via AP)

US Vice-President Mike Pence visited Israel this week. His four-day tour was the first highest-level US visit to the region since President Donald Trump made his declaration on December 6, recognising Jerusalem as its capital. However, his foreign visit ended up upsetting more than just Palestinians, who were irked by POTUS’ declaration and the violence that followed. Gender discrimination of female journalists during Pence’s visit has led to a huge outcry on social media. According to reports, female journalists were asked to stand behind their male colleagues during his final stop at Jerusalem’s Western Wall on January 23.

Female reporters and photojournalists were apparently placed four rows behind their male colleagues, from a fenced-off area at the rear end of the compound that includes the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. Irked by the biased treatment, female journalists took to Twitter to share their anger and slammed the White House officials, who had actually invited them to cover the state visit.

Although it’s common practice for the sexes to be segregated in the compound by the Ultra-Orthodox authority that runs the holy site, this treatment was received by female journalists before. In fact, even during earlier visits by Trump and Obama, women reporters and photographers were separated but their view was not obstructed or work was hindered because of lack of co-operation.

With hashtag #PenceFence, journalists started tweeting and slamming against the everyday sexism. Tweeple too lent their voice and was irked by the discrimination based on gender.

However, this was not the only thing that garnered attention. According to a Washington Post report, a female journalist from Finland was asked to remove her bra during a security check. The reporter of Palestinian descent from Finland’s state broadcaster covering the press brief of Pence and Netanyahu was denied entry when she refused to remove her innerwear. The Foreign Press Association, representing international journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories, protested and called it a “clear ethnic profiling” by Israeli security officials, NPR reported. The news too created another series of backlash on Twitter and Pence visit to Israel created a buzz but for all the wrong reason.

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