'Ban women drivers', say religious leaders in London

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Religious leaders have provoked fury after suggesting pupils should be banned from lessons if their mothers drive them to school.

The strict ruling came from rabbis in an orthodox jewish sect at Stamford Hill, in north London.

In a letter published on jewish websites, the Hasidic Belz rabbis say women drivers are 'contrary to the rules of religious modesty'.

The letter warns pupils will be barred from lessons unless there are medical reasons for their mother to behind the wheel of a car.

Dina Brawer from the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance described the ruling as draconian. She expressed her anger on Twitter.

This is so out of line with any Jewish values. It doesn't represent our religion and it's draconian. It's a terrible, terrible thing.' Dina Brawer, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

Rosa Doherty, Jewish Chronicle

Full translation of letter:

As a repercussion for a woman who drives in a car, she cannot send her children to be educated at institutions of the Belz Chasidim. We therefore announce that as of Rosh Chodesh Elul (Aug 14th), a student whose mother drives will not be allowed to study in our institutions. If a mother has no other choice and has to drive for extenuating reasons (for example medical), she should submit a request to the special committee to this effect and the committee shall consider her request.

Translation of letter