Jewish women worldwide will be fasting this year around Purim to protest the plight of agunot, Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a religious divorce. Last year the fasts, sponsored by the International Jewish Women’s Human Rights Watch, were observed around the world between the Fast of Esther (the day before Purim, March 1 in 1999) and International Women’s Day (March 8). A coalition of Israeli women demonstrated outside the chief rabbi’s office, Belgian agunot gave testimony, Australian women refused breakfast at a United Nations celebration, and women assembled in Sarajevo for a workshop, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights.”
Organizations in each country are planning for next March—with one exception: the United States. Organize an event in your community. Visit the web site www.icjw.org.uk/ IJWHRW/index.htm.