The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) on Wednesday called upon the government and the opposition parties to pass the law on Muslim triple talaq bill through “consensus, without political point-scoring”. On Thursday, the Parliament is scheduled to discuss the proposed The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, after the government issued an Ordinance on it earlier this year.
The Ordinance was brought after the government failed to push it through the Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session of Parliament owing to lack of unanimity among various political parties, said BMMA Co-Founder Zakia Soman. The Ordinance makes instant triple talaq a punishable offence with a three-year jail term, and Soman urged that it would be ideal if both Houses of Parliament pass the Bill unanimously, especially since some important amendments have been made to the original Bill.
For the much-anticipated legislation, she said that today women across the country are protesting, writing to women’s commissions and observing token fasts for legal protection. “We urge all political parties to recognise, acknowledge and extend their support to the demands of Muslim women. For too long have they (Muslim women) been discriminated against the faced insecurity, fears for life, threats of instant divorce, polygamy, juvenile marriage and deprivation of inheritance rights,” said Soman.
However, now the Muslim women have organised themselves, armed with the knowledge of both their constitutional rights and rights as per the Quran, which need to be acknowledged and realised by all political parties, she pointed out. “The tide is turning. This law, if it becomes a reality, will be important and the BMMA will continue to fight for comprehensive codification of Muslim family law where gender-just provisions pertaining to age of marriage, mehr, consent, polygamy, halala, muta, maintenance and inheritance are also legislated upon,” Soman added.
The BMMA has published its version of a comprehensive Muslim family law and demanded that the government consider the same for further discussions to work towards a comprehensive law which has been hanging for long, she said.