The women’s wing of All India Muslim Personal Law Board today claimed the rate of divorce among Muslims was low as compared to other communities and that the issue of triple talaq was being projected in wrong light. Sharing data collected from family courts in certain Muslim-concentrated districts across the country, the wing’s chief organiser Asma Zohra said the women are well protected under Islam which is reflected from the low percentage of Muslim women seeking a divorce.
The remarks come in the backdrop of a debate on triple talaq. The matter is also before the Supreme Court which will go into the legal aspects of the practice. She said the exercise to collect data from family courts was started in May last year under which statistics were sought through RTI from family courts in Muslim-concentrated districts for five years from 2011-2015. Sixteen family courts gave detailed consolidated reports.
“We have compiled the report which shows that the divorce rate is minimal in the Muslim community. Similarly, we collected details from various Darul Qaza which also indicate that only 2-3 per cent cases are related to divorce out of which most were initiated by women only,” Zohra told a press conference here. Darul Qaza is an Islamic Shariat court.
As per the report prepared by Muslim Mahila Research Kendra in coordination with Shariah Committee for Women, the number of cases of divorce for Muslims stood at 1,307 against Hindu at 16,505. The cases of divorce for Christians in these districts stood at 4,827 and 8 for Sikhs.
These figures were from the eight districts of Kannur (Kerala), Nasik (Maharashtra), Karimnagar (Telangana), Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Secunderabad (Hyderabad), Malappuram (Kerala), Ernakulam (Kerala) and Palakkad (Kerala). She said the work on the compilation of the statistics is going on.
“The issue of triple talaq cropped up in recent years and was politicised. The issue needs to be understood in the right manner and perspective. Islam has given certain liberties to women and they are well protected in the community,” she said. She said there were other burning issues affecting women across communities like dowry, domestic violence, child marriage, female foeticide. She added that these issues need to be addressed prominently, instead of only pointing towards the Muslim community.
On the issue of working Muslim women, she said their safety and security should be considered first and foremost.
Zohra is in the city to attend a two-day workshop on the rights and challenges of Muslim women which began here today.
On the first day of the workshop, sessions on Marriage and Divorce in Islam, rights of women in Quran and the Constitutional and role of All India Muslim Personal Law Board were held. A public meeting expected to be attended by nearly 30,000 women will be held tomorrow, Yasmeen Farooqui, convener of the Rajasthan women’s wing and a member of the AIMPLB said.
The Centre had before the apex court opposed the practice of triple talaq on grounds of gender equality and secularism. The AIMPLB had told the apex court that the pleas challenging such practices among Muslims were not maintainable as the issues fell outside the realm of judiciary. The Board had also said that the validity of Mohammedan Law, founded essentially on the Holy Quran and sources based on it, cannot be tested on the particular provisions of the Constitution.