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Polygamy in Israel: Overview and Recommendations

This report examines the practice of polygamy (more precisely, polygyny – marriage to multiple wives) in the Bedouin community in southern Israel. Polygamy is illegal in Israel and constitutes a criminal offense under Israeli law. Many publications and studies have analyzed the social and economic repercussions of the practice of polygamy in the Bedouin sector. Other studies, some of which are cited below, have exposed the emotional, personal and economic hardships to which women are subjected when their husbands take an additional wife or wives, as well as the educational, social, and economic ramifications for the children of polygamous households.

Polygamy in Israel