VICTIMS OF ORAL DIVORCE

 

 

Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan [BMMA] is a secular, autonomous and rights based Muslim women’s movement in india established in 2007 which works for justice, peace, democracy and development within and outside the Muslim community. It is leading movement of Muslim women in India with a membership base of 35000 women, more than 10 lakh beneficiaries and an active leadership in 12 states across the country.

 

BMMA addresses the marginalization of the community through Muslim women’s own active leadership at the local, state and national level. It facilitates the emergence of Muslim women’s and girl’s leadership so that they can lead themselves and the larger community towards social, educational, economic and legal development.

 

BMMA is active in 12 states across the country and its leaders receive many cases of Muslim women who have been orally and unilaterally divorced by their husbands. Muslim husbands have evolved innovative methods of divorcing their wife.

 

For instance one husband himself wrote the khulanama and made his wife sign it. In another instance, a father in law divorced his daughter in law on behalf of his son. There are many instances of women divorced through sms, emails, phone calls, letters and of course orally. Many qazis who are paid by the husband send divorce notices to the wife without even giving an opportunity to the wife to give her side of the story.

 

Although Quranic injunctions demand arbitration before divorce proceedings, this injunction is clearly forgotten by the husband and the ulemas who justify the practice of oral divorce in the name of religion. As a result Muslim women are deprived of her rights mentioned in the Quran and are subject to harassment by husband and unscrupulous qazis.

 

To highlight the issue of oral, unilateral divorce, BMMA in December 2011 the  national annual convention was held in  a national public hearing of victims of oral unilateral divorce. Women from Maharashtra, Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh   narrated  the different ways in which they have been divorced by their husbands.

 

To put an end to this heinous practice BMMA demands that the Muslim family law must be codified. The activists of BMMA have been working on a draft law since its inception.  Many consultations have been held across the country to arrive at the various clauses mentioned in the draft.

 

Through this Convention, BMMA wants the state to hear the voices of Muslim women. The state now can no longer ignore this voice. It must treat Muslim women as citizens of this country and must put an immediate ban on the practice of oral/unilateral divorce.

 

Contact Detail :

 

Khatoon Shaikh : 9224313819

 

Noorjehan Safia Niaz: 9833072690

 

 

 

 

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