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Too Scared To Talk? Majority Of Callers On Helpline For Muslim Women Are Men, Says Report

What does this indicate?

23/02/2017 9:22 AM IST | Updated 23/02/2017 10:37 AM IST
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Muslim women in prayer inside Jama Masjid mosque.

With several petitions having been filed against triple talaq, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) had launched a helpline for women in November last year in what the board said was a move to empower Muslim women. This was after they had supported triple talaq.

But now, reports suggest that most people who make calls to the helpline are actually men.

The joint secretary of the All Bengal Muslim Women's Association tells The Hindustan Times that out of ten calls that they get, seven to eight of the calls are from men. The report says that Bengali speaking men call from other parts of the country as well.

The helpline was launched in Telugu, Hindi, English, Urdu, Malayalam and Tamil. Even with calls from the other parts of the country in Hindi or Urdu, most callers are men.

But what is the reason behind this phenomenon?

Head of department of women's studies in Burdwan University, Syed Tanveer Nasreen, tells The Hindustan Times, "If 70 % of the calls are from men, it shows that a large section of Muslim women can't even dare to make a telephone call and speak for themselves. Either they are queries from men and sometimes their brothers or father call up and do the talking."

However, the AIMPLB has insisted that Muslims women's rights were not hindered by triple talaq or the nikah halala. In June last year women members of the board had said that Muslim women did not want triple talaq to be banned and those seeking a ban were "opportunistic, publicity-seeking feminists."

The Supreme Court is currently hearing petitions on the constitutional legitimacy of triple talaq and polygamy that is allowed by Muslim personal law.

The worst part? The Muslim law board's defence was that in times of discord it would be better for a husband to divorce his wife than to kill her.

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