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Muslim women’s body seeks family law

The women's organisation stated that issues such as polygamy, halala and age of marriage still remained “unsolved”

, ET Bureau|
Aug 27, 2019, 08.20 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: A Mumbai-based Muslim women’s body has urged the government to bring in a Muslim family law to “uphold gender justice and gender equality” for women in the community and also take measures to effectively implement the law that made triple talaq a criminal offence.

The Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), which made the demand, was one of the co-petitioners with Shayara Bano against triple talaq in the Supreme Court, which in 2017 declared the practice unconstitutional. In a letter sent to Union law and justice minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last week, the women's organisation said even as the campaign against the abolition of triple talaq was successful with the passage of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, issues such as polygamy, halala and age of marriage still remained “unsolved”.

"We believe that the Parliament of India must pass a Muslim family law to uphold gender justice and gender equality for Muslim women," said the letter, a copy of which ET has seen. As much as 91.7% women who had responded to a BMMA survey had spoken out against polygamy, and 72.9% had said polygamy should not be allowed with or without consent from the first wife, the organisation’s founder, Zakia Soman, wrote in the letter.

The survey, she said, covered Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha. "This law (Muslim family law) should enable legal justice for Muslim women at par with Hindu and Christian women who have got justice through the Hindu Marriage Act and other family laws passed by Parliament," Soman said in the letter.
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