According to the proposed bill, rabbinical courts will be obliged to place restrictions on spouses who refuse to grant a divorce ('get') and increase pressure on them until they agree to a divorce.
The approved bill reduces the religious judges' (dayanim) say with regards to imposing sanctions on husbands who fail to fulfill court divorce rulings. The law also determines that hearings on the matter will occur after a short period of time fixed in the court ruling for each case.
The law states that a date will now be fixed for a "divorce arrangement" within 45 days of the ruling. If a divorce is not granted at that time, a hearing will then be held to decide on the imposing of sanctions against the refusing party within another 45 days.
The court will also hold a follow-up hearing within 90 days where the sanctions will be reviewed – until the divorce ruling is fulfilled and granted.
Moreover, the law states that if an appeal is filed against the sanctions, their implementation will not be postponed unless thus declared in the ruling in individual cases.
Discussing the bill MK Schneller said: "The meaning of refusing to grant a divorce is the imprisonment of women and the loss of the ability to start a family again. An enlightened and democratic society must free men and women from divorce refusals. Now that it has once again been proven that humanism, democracy and equality do not contradict Jewish halacha."
Director of Mavoi Satum, attorney Batya Kahane-Dror who was involved in formulating the law noted: "The amendment is an important landmark in the battle for the rights of women in Israel and bringing about equality between the sexes on matters of marriage and divorce.
"It could decrease and even prevent the abuse and ongoing extortion of women and put an end to the rabbinical courts practice of dragging their feet in divorce proceedings."