Palestinian Women´s Model Parliament

Thursday, September 3, 1998
Dahlia Scheindlin
Western Asia

The decision stunned even its leaders. During their model parliament held last April in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian women's rights activists first recommended that laws be enacted to restrain and regulate polygamy; that it be allowed only in exceptional cases and with the first wife being offered a divorce. But after the 126 "delegates" confirmed the vote, they dramatically invalidated the decision. Instead, a large majority called for a total ban on polygamy amid widespread applause. The Islamic community called the vote a "slap in the face to the Koran," according to the Palestinian daily, "al- Ayyam." The activists were denounced as "devils, satans and demons," accused of desecrating and disrespecting the Shari'ah (Islamic law).

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