Talaq, Talaq, Talaq…..These three words have been the most dreaded words for Muslim women.
In a first of its kind study conducted by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), it was found that around 92.1% women want oral triple talaq to be banned.
They also want a ban on talaq delivered through new media platforms like Skype, text messages, email and Whatsapp.
As reported by Times of India, the study was conducted across 10 states involving 4,710 women respondents. About 73% women surveyed were from families that earned less than Rs.50,00o.
The study found that a majority of the women were economically and socially disadvantaged, over half had been married off before the age of 18 and over 53% had faced domestic violence.
Author of the study, Zakia Soman, said:
“In 2014, of the 235 cases that came to women Sharia adalats that we run, 80% were of oral talaq. Government has molly-coddled and appeased those groups which have taken upon themselves to speak for the community. For groups that cite religious freedom as an argument, it is at the expense of women’s rights”
Speaking on polygamy prevalent amongst Muslims, 91.7% of the respondents opposed a second marriage by their husbands during the subsistence of their first marriage.
Also, about 93% women were in favour of an arbitration process before the divorce and 83.3% believed that codification of Muslim family law would help get justice, which has been resisted by the community citing religious interference.
Citing that the survey’s aim was to give voice to the Muslim women and find out what they think on these issues, co-author Noorjehan Safia Niaz, said:
“An overwhelming number of women demands reforms in Muslim personal law. They want an elaborate codified law based on the Quranic justice framework to cover matters such as age 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).
A few days ago a government appointed committee had submitted a report on the status of women in India. That report recommended that there should be a complete ban on “oral, unilateral and triple divorce” because it made Muslim women “extremely vulnerable and insecure”.