National Council of Jewish Women of Australia
The Voice of Australian Jewish Women

"Women working together can achieve anything"
Dr Fanny Reading MBE

Status of Women

Portfolio Chair

Negba Weiss-Dolev and Marilyn Gross

About the Portfolio

The NCJWA Status of Women portfolio covers issues affecting both Jewish and non-Jewish women:

  • Women’s human rights and status
  • Violence against women and children, including trafficking
  • Women’s economic autonomy and well-being
  • Women’s leadership and participation in decision-making
  • Agunot - the issue of “chained” women unable to gain a Jewish divorce - the Get

Our focus for the period 2011 – 2015 is on violence against women and children and trafficking, following the priorities set by the International Council of Jewish Women, of which we are an affiliate.

NCJWA acts in the spirit of the Jewish principle Tikkun Olam (‘healing the world’) to make the world a better place for all. We join with other organisations to educate, lobby and advocate. These include alliances and coalitions such as Stop the Traffik and the federally funded women’s Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) and the Equality Rights Alliance. We support worthwhile campaigns such as those of Collective Shout, a grassroots campaigning movement against the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls in media, advertising and popular culture.

We keep our members informed about national developments relating to the status of women and encourage them to hold forums on contemporary issues affecting women. Educating ourselves and our communities about issues such as violence against women enables us to better deal with these in our own environments. In becoming more aware we can contribute to raising the level of debate on these matters.

We also support finding solutions to the problem of agunot, women chained to an unwanted Jewish marriage when their husbands refuse to give the get (Jewish divorce). This is a worldwide problem that has attracted the attention of many Jewish women’s rights activists. A recent international summit promises much needed progress, with many rabbis supporting change to remove the obstacles to a get being granted. For more information on the Summit, read the article on the ICJW website.

Portfolio Report

Click here to read the October 2015 report.