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Jewish Journal

Groups mark ‘Agunot Day’

JTA

March 17, 2011 | 11:34 am

An international coalition of Jewish women’s groups marked the Fast of Esther by calling on Israel’s Knesset to enact legislation that would force recalcitrant husbands to grant their wives a religious divorce.

The International Coalition for Agunah Rights this week submitted proposed legislation to the Knesset that would assist “agunot,” or chained women, in forcing husbands to grant a divorce under halachic, or religious, precepts.

“The situation of agunot - women chained to a marriage under Israeli law because their husbands refuse to grant a divorce - is an unconscionable violation of civil and human rights,” said the National Council of Jewish Women, one of 27 groups supporting the marking of “International Agunot Day” on the Fast of Esther, which falls on Thursday this year .

“The Knesset must address this issue by providing a way to end marriages that respects halachic law without compromising the legal equality of women,” NCJW said Thursday in a statement.

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