Nine out of Ten Muslim Women Want Ban on Oral Divorce: Survey

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), August 11, 2015 | Go to article overview

Nine out of Ten Muslim Women Want Ban on Oral Divorce: Survey


Mumbai, Aug. 11 -- A survey of Muslim women across 10 states has revealed that 92.1% want oral divorce to be banned. Carried out by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), the survey covered 4,700 women, mainly from low-income families.

A little over 88% said they preferred talaq-e-ahsan (where the husband pronounces talaq and abstains from physical contact with his wife for the next three months, at the end of which the marriage is valid again if he changes his mind) to oral talaq, a unilateral divorce where there is no room for reconciliation. Around 91.2% women were also against polygamy.

The survey showed whopping 95.5% women had not heard of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board - the apex body that works to protect Muslim Personal Law in the country. BMMA's co-founder Noorjehan Safia Niaz said the findings question the validity of the board as it is not really representing the community - as opposed to what it claims.

This argument was rejected by community activist and member of the Muslim personal law board, Haroon Mozawala.

"If the women didn't know about the board, they probably never needed to approach it. If you randomly go to slums and ask if the residents have heard of, say, the Supreme Court, chances are they wouldn't know that too," said Mozawala.

BMMA's co-founder Zakia Soman, however, said, "The fact that such a high number of women were clueless of the board, only reiterates our long-pending demand and mission of doing away with the current uncodified set of rules based on the Shariat."

The survey findings are part of a new book set to be released on Tuesday, titled 'Seeking Justice Within Family'.

"In the book, we have developed an argument that we need a coded family law based on Quran. …

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