Over 150 people attended three lectures given by Prof. Ruth Halperin Kaddari, professor of Law at Bar-Ilan University. The talks focused on women’s right in Israel and in the global orthodox world and were arranged by Bar-Ilan, Jofa UK and Clifford Chance.
The first lecture which was a JOFA UK event in collaboration with Bar Ilan examined “The state of The Agunah and Gett Abuse Today Developments, advances, shortcomings and Obstacles”. The second breakfast lecture hosted by Manny Weiss looked at “Between the local and the Global : Professor Halperin- Kaddari discussed various ways of promoting women’s rights through civil society organisations and UN human rights bodies in Israel”. The final lecture was hosted by Clifford Chance as part of their “lunch and learn programme.” It focused on Women’s Rights in the 21st century.
In marking International Agunah Day, Prof. Halperin-Kaddari, focused on issues of Gett Abuse. Analysing the root causes of the problem, its scope, and the solutions that exist within the halachic framework, Prof Halperin,-Kaddari called for the Jewish community to be more aware and involved in developing educational programs and for a deeper rabbinical commitment. Halperin-Kaddari also presented a survey conducted by Bar-Ilan’s Rackman Center in 2013, assessing the extent of the term Halperin-Kaddari coined: gett abuse, namely the pressure men exert over women in order to exhort concessions from them in return for the gett. The survey found that one in three divorcing women in Israel is subject to this kind of extortion, and as the degree of religiosity increases, and level of education decreases, the extortion increases.
Prof. Halperin-Kaddari was elected to serve as a member on the expert committee of the UN Committee on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2006 and served as its vice chairman. In June 2014 she was re elected to the Committee, for a third term, an unprecedented achievement for an expert from Israel. In July 2007, she was awarded with the International Award for Woman of Courage by the State Department of the United States.
Prof. Kaddari, demonstrated ways of promoting women’s rights in Israel and around the Jewish world, through civil society organizations and UN Human rights bodies.