Sir, Elif Shafak’s Comment “ In the Middle East, women’s bodies are a battleground” (November 15) was a salutary reminder of women’s lack of equality status in many, if not most, of the countries in the Middle East. Had the headline read “In the Muslim Middle East” it would have had greater clarity in clearly excluding Israel where women’s rights, equality and status are enshrined in both law and practice. Justice minister Tzipi Livni is not the first female to serve in the Israeli government. There was, after all, Prime Minister Golda Meir too.

Israel may have some failings but equal rights for women is not one of them. It is one of the benefits of being a true democracy where men, women, Arabs and Jews are all entitled to vote, and where laws passed by the elected parliament (Knesset) are supreme and not subject to approval or veto by an unelected religious body.

Ephry Eder

London NW4, UK

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