Majority of Muslim women In India want a complete ban on oral and unilateral divorce, a survey by an NGO that fights for the rights of the community in India have revealed in a survey.
92.1% of women wanted a total ban on oral and unilateral talaq, 75.5% women want the age of marriage to be above 18 years for girls and 93% favoured an arbitration process to be mandatory before divorce, according to the survey by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) released on Thursday.
Muslim women have also unequivocally opposed polygamy, with 91.7% saying they do not want their husbands to marry another woman in the subsistence of first marriage.
Here are some other highlights from the survey:
- 88.3% want talaak-e-Ahsan to be the method of divorce.
- 93% want arbitration process to be mandatory before divorce.
- 72.3% want the arbitration process to be between 3 to 6 months.
- 88.5% want the qazi to be punished who sends notice of oral divorce.
- The annual income of 73.1% of the families is below Rs.50,000.
- 55.3% have married before the age of 18.
- 46.5% of the women surveyed have 1 or 2 children.
- 53.2% of the surveyed women have faced domestic violence.
- 78.7% of the women are home makers.
- 95.5%, i.e., 4499 women have not heard of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
- 88.9% want women to retain the custody of children after divorce.
- 95.6% want ex-husband to pay for children’s maintenance even if she holds their custody.
- 92.7% want consent and well being of the child to be the deciding factor for custody.
- 79.8% want the adopted child to be treated as a natural heir to the property.
Indian Muslim women have expressed concern over divorce through social media platforms such as Skype and Facebook. The divorce is instant and binding. The study of 4499 respondents, or 95.5%, have also revealed that these women have not heard of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
53.2% of the women interviewed have faced domestic violence, the survey, which covered states like West Bengal, Maharashtra, Bihar and Jharkhand, found. Most of the respondents live in poverty and half of the numbers polled have faced domestic violence.
“This is a very important finding which suggests that women want an elaborate codified law based on the Quranic justice framework to cover matters such as age of marriage, divorce, polygamy, maintenance and custody of children,” the Hindustan Times quoted Mumbai-based Noorjehan Safia Niaz, who along with Zakia Soman conducted the survey.
"In 2014, of the 235 cases that came to women Sharia adalats that we run, 80% were of oral talaq,'' Soman told Times of India.
BMMA plans to take the issue up with the government, Law Commission and the National Commission for Women, the TOI report added.