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Juridical Bonds of Marriage for Jewish and Islamic Women

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 December 2008

Adelaide Madera*
Affiliation:
Researcher in Canon Law, University of Messina, Italy

Abstract

This paper examines the condition of women in both Israel and Islamic countries, specifically their freedom to leave a marriage, and compares respective models. First, the study analyses the peculiar relationship between secular and religious law in Israel and Islamic countries. Second, it studies the nature of marriage as a contract in these legal systems, comparing a totally private approach and a mixed, public–private approach. Third, it analyses the possibilities of dissolution of marriage in such legal systems, indentifying some aspects of gender disparity. Finally it discusses some juridical tools offered in these legal contexts, which are intended to rebalance the exercise of a woman's freedom to leave a marital relationship and its conditions.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Ecclesiastical Law Society 2008

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References

1 See Halperin-Kaddari, R, Women in Israel: a state of their own (Philadelphia, PA, 2004), pp 923 Google Scholar.

2 See Edelman, M, Courts, Politics and Culture in Israel (Charlottesville, VA, 1994)Google Scholar.

3 See Halperin-Kaddari, Women in Israel, pp 3–23.

4 See R Salih, ‘Femminismo e islamismo: pratiche politiche e processi di identificazione in epoca post-coloniale’, (2007) 3 Jura Gentium, <http://www.juragentium.unifi.it/it/surveys/islam/mw/salih.htm>, accessed 19 December 2007.

5 See Strong, SI, ‘Law and religion in Israel and Iran: how the integration of secular and spiritual laws affect human rights and the potential for violence’, (1997) 19 Michigan Journal of International Law 109218 Google Scholar.

6 In Israel, a woman as an individual is not the natural beneficiary of the social security system when she is outside the family context: see Halperin-Kaddari, Women in Israel, pp 98–111.

7 See Mir-Hosseini, Z, Marriage on Trial: a study of Islamic family law (third edition, London, 2000), pp 1019 Google Scholar.

8 See M ElSafty, ‘Gender inequalities in the Arab world: religion, law or culture’, (2005) 1 Jura Gentium, <http://www.juragentium.unifi.it/en/surveys/islam/mw/elsafty.htm>, accessed 19 December 2007.

9 See Salih, ‘Femminismo e islamismo’.

10 See Rabello, AM, ‘Il matrimonio nel diritto ebraico’ in Ferrari, S (ed), Diritto ebraico, canonico, islamico: un commento alle fonti (Torino, 2006), p 10 Google Scholar.

11 See Ferrari, S, ‘Pluralità di sistemi matrimoniali e prospettive di comparazione’, (2002) 2 Daimon 43 Google Scholar.

12 See Nasir, JJ, The Islamic Law of Personal Status (third edition, The Hague, 2002), p 45 Google Scholar.

13 See Beck Peccoz, R Aluffi, ‘Islam e società in Egitto: il matrimonio ’urf î’, (2002) 2 Daimon 179191 Google Scholar.

14 See Rabello, ‘Il matrimonio nel diritto ebraico’, p 60, for an examination of the cases when divorce is religiously prohibited.

15 See Broyde, MJ, Marriage, Divorce, and the Abandoned Wife in Jewish Law: a conceptual understanding of the agunah problems in America (Hoboken, NJ, 2001), p 16 Google Scholar; Breitowitz, I, Between Civil and Religious Law: the plight of the agunah in American society (Westport, CT, 1993), pp 940 Google Scholar.

16 See Broyde, Marriage, divorce, and the abandoned wife in Jewish law, pp 23–27.

17 See Rabello, ‘Il matrimonio nel diritto ebraico’, pp 91–92.

18 See Greenberg, B, ‘Marriage in the Jewish tradition’ in Scott, K and Warren, M (eds), Perspectives on Marriage (New York and Oxford, 1993), p 392 Google Scholar.

19 See Rabello, ‘Il matrimonio nel diritto ebraico’, pp 62–75.

20 See Broyde, Marriage, divorce, and the abandoned wife in Jewish law, pp 17–28.

21 This problem does not only arise when the husband refuses the get for various more-or-less juridically founded reasons. In the past, a woman was formally ‘chained’ to a marriage bond in several situations. See Westreich, E., ‘Levirate marriage in the state of Israel: ethnic encounter and the challenge of a Jewish state’, (2003–2004) 37 Israel Law Review 426 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

22 See Rabello, AM, ‘Il Rabbinato Centrale di Erez Israel’, (2003) 3 Daimon 115 Google Scholar. Some problems connected to divorce (custody of children and post-marriage division of assets) are under civil jurisdiction, but can be dealt with by rabbinical courts when they are attached to a request for a religious divorce. The judge who was in charge of the start of the legal proceeding is deemed to be competent. See Galanter, M and Krishnan, J, ‘Personal law and human rights in India and Israel’, (2000) 34 Israel Law Review 125 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

23 Rabbinical courts can order imprisonment only when it is prescribed by Talmudic law; otherwise there is the risk that a get is invalid. See Maoz, A, ‘Matrimonio e divorzio nel diritto israeliano’, (2002) 2 Daimon 223233 Google Scholar.

24 These forms of marriage are juridically invalid on the basis of international private law. However, when two Israeli citizens celebrate such a marriage, it can be registered administratively, in order to guarantee that these partnerships receive the same social benefits granted to legitimate marriages. See Halperin-Kaddari, Women in Israel, pp 227–262.

25 Ibid.

26 See Nasir, The Islamic Law of Personal Status, p 134; Özdemir, S Oktai, ‘Dal matrimonio religioso al matrimonio statuale in Turchia’, (2002) 2 Daimon 163 Google Scholar.

27 See R Aluffi Beck Peccoz, ‘Il matrimonio nel diritto islamico’ in Ferrari, Diritto ebraico, canonico, islamico, p 220.

28 Ibid, pp 224–226.

29 Ibid, p 234.

30 See Nasir, The Islamic Law of Personal Status, p 116.

31 See Aluffi Beck Peccoz, ‘Il matrimonio nel diritto islamico’, pp 237–238.

32 See Nasir, The Islamic Law of Personal Status, p 107.

33 Ibid, pp 120–133.

34 Ibid, pp 128–133.

35 See Breitowitz, I, ‘The plight of the agunah: a study in halacha, contract and the First Amendment’, (1992) 51 Maryland Law Review 312421 Google Scholar.

36 See Halperin-Kaddari, Women in Israel, pp 236–240.

37 See Mir-Hosseini, Marriage on Trial, pp 115–130.

38 See Meron, Y, ‘Il “prezzo” della sposa: aspetti patrimoniali del matrimonio ebraico ed islamico’, (2002) 2 Daimon 6170 Google Scholar; Nasir, The Islamic Law of Personal Status, pp 61–69.

39 See Aluffi Beck Peccoz, ‘Il matrimonio nel diritto islamico’, pp 244–245.

40 Ibid, pp 230–232.

41 See Galanter and Krishnan, ‘Personal law and human rights in India and Israel’, p 131.

42 See Mir-Hosseini, Marriage on Trial, pp 49–53.

43 Ibid, pp 115–130.

44 See A Quraishi and N Syeed-Miller, ‘No altars: a survey of Islamic family law in the United States’,<www.law.emory.edu/ifl/cases/USA.htm>, accessed 10 April 2008.

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