New center to help battered Bedouin women

Friday, June 15, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

An Israeli women's rights legal group recently opened a new center in the southern town of Beersheba to assist disadvantaged women gain financial security.

While the group Women Lawyers for Social Justice and its new center exist to help all Israeli women, the primary victims in the Beersheba area are the wives of Bedouin Arab men.

Bedouin wives are often beaten and mistreated, but rarely file complaints because if their husbands are arrested, the families lose the government stipends they live on.

Women Lawyers for Social Justice is now fighting to help such women gain single mother status when their abusive husbands are hauled off to jail, reported Ha'aretz.

While Arab and Muslim women in Israel fare better than most in the Middle East, it is not uncommon to read about “honor killings” and spousal abuse. The stories that don't make it to the newspapers are likely far more numerous.

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