Agunah: Approaches to Resolving a Worldwide Divorce-related Challenge within the Orthodox Jewish Community

Impact: Societal impacts


The Agunah Research Unit (ARU) has carried out research to address a 2,000-year-old religio-legal problem for the Orthodox Jewish community, whereby the woman is not allowed to re-marry if her husband refuses to issue a certificate of divorce (a get), and in this way becomes an agunah or chained wife. ARU research identified legal devices acceptable to practitioners of traditional Jewish law to alleviate the legal disadvantages to women. The research has:

- influenced rulings in the Israeli Supreme Court and non-state authorised courts in Israel, effecting changes in legal outcomes and in the lives of plaintiffs;
- informed the establishment of an international religious court and the work of religious judges in Israel and the US;
- influenced the practice of women’s activist groups.
Impact date2004
Category of impactSocietal impacts