This Article evaluates the impact that eliminating or reducing the marriage dower would have on the well-being of Muslim women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Although Palestinian women's rights organizations seek to eliminate dower on the grounds that it is a "burdensome custom" that is "inconsistent with the intifada's stated goal of improving women's status," in fact, the interaction between dower and other laws relating to marriage and divorce is such that the majority of women would be materially harmed by its discontinuance. Therefore, while the movement to eliminate dower may benefit the financially secure upper class women at its vanguard, it results in financial insecurity and impoverishment for poor and particularly, rural women. This Article, therefore, recommends that women's movements in Palestine take greater heed of the class-differentiated effects of dower, and protect the right of poor and rural women to their only means of financial security.
The Marriage Dower: Essential Guarantor of Women's Rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
Mich. J. Gender & L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol10/iss1/4