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Problems No Longer Solved over a Cup of Coffee: Arab Women Take their Complaints to the West Jerusalem Muslim Court

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Abstract In the past, women may have been afraid to approach the court because they thought it would harm their family’s reputation and honor. Parents would have also discouraged such a move. This paper features the stories of fifty-four Palestinian Muslim women who appealed to the shariʿa court in West Jerusalem during the years 1996–1999. The women came to the courts to claim material support (nafaqa) from their husbands. Women sued their husbands for several reasons, the most prominent being: interference in the couple’s life from the husband’s family, violence on the part the husband, economic hardship, and immoral behaviour of the husband.

Affiliations: 1: Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace Jerusalem


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