Women's Organizations to Party Leaders

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:00am -- JOFA

This is a statement sent out by Kolech and Mavoi Satum in Israel about a mutual respect campaign.  

Women's organizations to party leaders: "Do not support extortion during divorce proceedings"

30 organizations have sent a letter to political party leaders demanding legislation to prevent get refusal and extortion during divorce proceedings.  

Yesterday thirty women's organizations led by "Mavoi Satum" and Kolech " asked all political party leaders to support a solution to get refusal during divorce proceedings in Israel. In a letter to party leaders  the organizations suggested a way to avoid the phenomenon of extortion and get refusal by encouraging couples to sign a prenuptial agreement known as the “mutual respect agreement”. 

The organizations appealed to party leaders to include a commitment to prevent getrefusal in their platforms. Party heads were urged to promote legislation insisting that on registering a marriage couples should sign an agreement of mutual respect. 

Attorney Batya Kahana - Dror,  the executive director of Mavoi Satum, argues that "the state can not abandon its citizens to the goodwill of the Chief Rabbinate. It is up to party leaders to resolve this challenging social problem. They have to stop the getfrom being used as a blackmailing tool before the couple weds and make every couple sign the mutual respect agreement when registering their marriage”. 

According to statistics, one in three marriages in Israel ends in divorce and in many cases the divorce process is long and protracted.  Even though the couples do not share a home, if they have not reached an agreement they remain officially married. In many of these cases, the task of running the home and raising the children falls on the woman and according to religious and hence Israeli law she cannot remarry.  In order for the husband to give his wife a  get of his own “free will” the rabbis tend to pressurize a woman to give up on many of her rights.  

The letter emphasizes that the mutual respect prenuptial agreement specifies civil procedures to avoid extortion and get refusal. The agreement is in accord with both Israeli civil law and religious law (halacha). 

The letter affirms“ that the best way  to implement the signing of agreements by the public at large is to create a legal norm which makes couples sign the prenuptial when registering the marriage”.   

Dr. Hanna Kehat, the executive director of Kolech- The Forum of Orthodox Women,noted that the agreement was developed by rabbis and female legal academics. It has the support of senior rabbinical court rabbis and is halachicallyvalid. “I call on all political leaders to take this important humane step and put an end to this injustice in the next Knesset". 

 -For details and  interviews please contact: Nili Grossman, spokeswoman for the “mutual respect”campaign 054-6807887  

  Nili Grossman, Strategic and Media Consultant for Social Campaigns    054-6807887.

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