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In a Break From Tradition, Kerala Appoints First Woman Member to the State Haj Committee

Earlier this year, Haj committee of India revised the Haj policy by allowing women to embark on the pilgrimage without a Mahram (male escort) following which around 1,100 women applicants left for Mecca.

Asheem PK | CNN-News18

Updated:August 13, 2018, 12:10 PM IST
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In a Break From Tradition, Kerala Appoints First Woman Member to the State Haj Committee
L Sulaika will serve as the first woman in the state Haj Committee for the next two years (News18)
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Thiruvananthapuram: In a welcome move, The CPI(M)-led Kerala government revamped the state Haj committee to appoint its first woman member.

L Sulaika will serve as the first woman in the state Haj Committee for the next two years.

Sulaika, an Indian National League (INL) leader and vice chairperson of Kanhangad municipality, received official confirmation on Saturday.

She will be attending the maiden meeting of the new committee at Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

Talking to News18 after her selection, Sulaika said that during her tenure she will focus on meeting the concerns of women pilgrims to Mecca who outnumber male pilgrims.

“Ensuring the representation of women in the Haj committee, like any other area, is the need of the hour. Women can do a lot in matters relating to their gender,” Sulaikha said, adding that she hopes women get more representation in the coming years.

“The decision by the LDF government gives me immense pleasure and I am glad to serve the committee,” Sulaika said.

Apart from Sulaikha, the new committee has 15 other members including two ex officio members.

Earlier this year, Haj committee of India revised the Haj policy by allowing women to embark on the pilgrimage without a Mahram (male escort) following which around 1,100 women applicants left for Mecca.

The relaxation for women came in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s 2014 amendment in the Haj rules allowing women to perform Haj without a close male relative.

Recently, Union ministry of minority affairs had appointed Moina Benazir, an Indian defence accounts services officer as the first female Haj coordinator.
| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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