Men's Groups as a New Challenge to the Israeli Feminist Movement: Lessons from the Ongoing Gender War Over the Tender Years Presumption
18(3) Israel Studies 29-40 (2013)
12 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2015
Date Written: 2013
Israeli law still contains the tender years presumption, according to which children under the age of 6 should live with their mother in cases of parental separation, unless special circumstances require a different custody arrangement. In many other developed countries, this presumption was abolished during the last two decades of the twentieth century, among other reasons due to aggressive campaigns by men’s organizations. In these countries, the presumption was replaced with gender neutral legal language, encouraging shared legal parenthood and blurring the distinctiveness of the role of the primary care-giving parent by replacing the terms “custody” and “visitation” with terms such as “parental plan” and “contact”. Similarly, at the end of 2011, a governmental committee (hereinafter: the Shnit Committee) recommended abolishing the tender years doctrine and adopting the terms “parental responsibility” and “parental times”. These recommendations were embraced by the Minister of Justice, and are awaiting parliamentary discussion.
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