The Gender Studies Program (GSP) at Mada al-Carmel is pleased to announce the publication of a new position paper in continuation of its Women’s Access to Justice project. This most recent paper, “Going to the Ecclesiastical Courts for Protection and Access to Justice: An Indigenous Feminist Reading” is the third in a series of six proposed papers for this project. Co-written by Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian and Sana Khsheiboun, the paper uses observational studies as well as previously existing literature to analyze the experiences of Christian Palestinian women seeking justice in cases of personal status (divorce, alimony, custody, etc) from ecclesiastical courts in Israel. This paper provides a brief history of personal status jurisdiction under Israeli rule, and subsequently posits new analysis based on evidence gathered through observation, as well as through interviews with both women seeking justice in the courts and the court judges, on their respective perceptions and experiences within the ecclesiastical courts.
The Women’s Access to Justice project is managed by a group of researchers with varying specialties, allowing for a multidisciplinary analysis of the position of Palestinian women in the Israeli legal system. Areas of focus range from Palestinian women’s knowledge and understanding of their rights and the legal system, their relationship with the police, institutional prejudices against them, the influence of social control devices, and other judicial institutional issues. This research project aspires to expose paths of justice experienced by Palestinian women through the official Israeli judicial system, as well as through other formal courts and informal social systems. All position papers within this project can be found on Mada’s website in Arabic and in English.