Muslim women’s demand to codify laws gathers steam

Published: 20th October 2012 11:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th October 2012 11:05 AM   |  A+A-

Demand for a codified Muslim Personal Law (MPL) according equal rights to women of the community has begun to intensify with a nation-wide movement to mobilise opinion on the issue getting underway.

The campaign launched by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) seeks to give voice to the deprived womenfolk and press for codification of MPL that gives social, economic, political, civil, legal and religious rights to them.

The BMMA has prepared a draft on codification of MPL, based on Quranic principles, after holding extensive consultations with advocates and prominent legal personalities.

The organisation, through the campaign seeks to share the draft and develop consensus on the issue and facilitate bringing about a codified law dealing with marriage, polygamy, divorce custody of children, etc.

According to Odisha state convenor of BMMA, the Bold Initiative Research and Documentation, Farhat Amin, despite Quranic Rights, Muslim women continue to be deprived. The proposed codified MPL is based on the principles of Islam and is a very progressive draft.

The women continue to be governed by the partially codified law, which has not been amended since the British rule. Under this code, Muslim women are a disadvantaged lot suffering untold miseries through triple talaq, polygamy and no provisions of maintenance in the event of divorce.

“The effort is to educate women and keep them well informed about MPL so that they can understand their rights and involve themselves in discussions on the same,” Amin said.

A meeting organised by BMMA Odisha chapter here was attended by representatives from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand besides other organisations.

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