The Law on the Books versus the Law in Action: Muslim Women in Polygamous Marriage under the Jewish State
Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society (2021)
Posted: 20 Sep 2022 Last revised: 22 Sep 2022
Date Written: February 3, 2021
Based on empirical evidence from the Shari’a court in Beersheba of the ratification of customary polygamous marriages, the article examines the complexity of legal recognition of second marriages and the structural conditions under which polygamy is possible in the plural legal orders that exist in Israel. Although polygamy is criminally prohibited by the state of Israel, this prohibition is not enforced among the Bedouin in Israel, where 18.5 percent of Bedouin households are polygamous. This article demonstrates how these conditions perpetuate patriarchal norms among the Bedouin under the auspices of colonial legal structures.
Keywords: Polygamy, Bedouin Women, Shari'a, Family Law, Israel/Palestine
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