Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari

Meet Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, for whom International Women's day is every day. She is the Founding Director of the Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women, and an Associate Professor at the BIU Faculty of Law, where she teaches family law; feministic perspective of the law, women and religion, and international women's rights. She is the author of "Women in Israel: A State of Their Own," and is a co-recipient of two research grants from the National Science Foundation in the area of family law.

Halperin Kaddari is also a member and former Vice-Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the only Israeli to serve on this committee, as well as being its youngest member ever. She was also an advisor to the Prime Minister's office on the status of women in Israel, and a member of the Committee on Family and Rabbinical Courts' Jurisdiction at the Ministry of Justice.

Prof. Halperin-Kaddari is a sought-after international expert on women's rights, and has won numerous awards, such as the US State Department's Woman of Courage Award, inaugurated by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, the Belush Israel Feminist Award given by the US/Israel Women to Women Foundation, the Eleanor P. Jacobson Woman of Valor Award, and was named “Woman of the Year in Law” by the prestigious monthly magazine "Praklitim", published by the Israel Bar Association.

During her tenure as Director of the Rackman Center, the Center has successfully lobbied the Israeli Knesset for the enactment and amendment of laws aimed at improving the status of women in Israel, for which it has won numerous acclaims, such as the Gorni Prize, given by the Israeli Association of Public Law.  

"I am very moved to be receiving this prize on behalf of the Rackman Center.  We welcome all initiatives that promote gender equality and women's rights in sensitive areas such as family law, and will continue to promote legislation and policy, and to provide individual assistance to women in need," said Prof. Halperin-Kaddari, in accepting the Gorni Prize. 

She adds that the Rackman Center has and is always working for the advancement of women's rights in Israel, and bettering women's standing within Jewish family law.  Halperin-Kaddari has successfully positioned the Rackman Center as a driving force for ending gender discrimination in Israeli society, through legal aid, public advocacy, research and women's empowerment.   

At the UN, Prof. Halperin-Kaddari is also a Member of a research group on Religion, Politics and Gender Equality on UNRISD, the UN's Research Institute for Social Development, and served as head of the Israeli delegation to the 47th-50th sessions of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).  Next week she will participate in the 2014 meeting of CSW in her capacity as a member of CEDAW.

For more on Prof. Halperin-Kaddari click here.