Agunot Take Matters into Their Own Hands
Pouring rain did not deter 50 agunot- women whose husbands refuse to grant them a divorce – turned activists from holding a rally in downtown Jerusalem on Yom Ha’agunah (Agunah Day) last week. The group of agunot and allies demanded that the public, the courts, and the religious authorities not abandon them.
The idea for the vigil came out of Making Change Together, a training conducted by SHATIL and NIF grantee Mavoi Satum. The training was aimed at women who were previously agunot and who wanted to work to help other women in this difficult position. In a country with no civil marriage or divorce, a get – or Jewish divorce – is required for a Jewish woman in order to remarry.
As soon as the training ended, the women began to act. The rally in downtown Jerusalem, accompanied by a Facebook campaign (in Hebrew), was their first project.
“We believe that the women themselves should be leading the fight for their freedom,” said Mavoi Satum social worker Ruthie Tick. “Their voices need to be heard and the training with SHATIL enabled this.”
In the training, the women learned how to articulate and publicise a message; how to speak with decision-makers; how to translate a desire for change into action; how to run a social media campaign; and more.