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92% Muslim women and their dissent against verbal talaq

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:50 IST
Talaq. Talaq. Talaq.

Three words that are so easy for a Muslim man to say, which have ruined so many Muslim women's lives. Because just by saying the word 'talaq' three times, a Muslim man can divorce his wife.

For years, Muslim women have protested the triple talaq, but for the first time a study has revealed that 92.1 per cent of Muslim women want this practice to end.

  • Conducted across 10 states by the NGO Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), which works for reforms in Muslim personal law, the study found that a majority of the women were economically and socially disadvantaged and over half had been married before the age of 18 and faced domestic violence.
  • The study interviewed 4,710 women between July and December 2013 and revealed that 91.7 per cent of the respondents opposed a second marriage by their husbands.
  • About 73 per cent of the women surveyed were from families that earned less than Rs 50,000 annually and 55 per cent were married before they turned 18. An overwhelming 82 per cent had no property in their name and 78 per cent were homemakers, indicating the absence of income. Over 53 per cent reported having faced domestic violence in their lives while a majority was poorly educated.
  • According to the author of the study, Zakia Soman, in 2014, of the 235 cases that came to the women's Sharia adalats that are run by BMMA, 80 per cent were of oral talaq.

Codification of Muslim law

  • Most women (93 per cent) were in favour of an arbitration process before divorce and 83.3 per cent believed that codification of Muslim family law would help them get justice. Codification of Muslim personal law has been resisted by the community who call it religious interference.
  • The co-author of the study, Noorjahan Safia Niaz, emphasises the fact that an overwhelming number of women demand reforms in Muslim personal law and want an elaborate codified law based on the Quranic justice framework to cover matters such as age at the time of marriage, divorce procedures, polygamy, maintenance and custody of children.
BMMA plans to take the issue up with the government, Law Commission and the National Commission for Women (NCW).
First published: 21 August 2015, 2:39 IST