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Triple Talaq Bill Adds Teeth to Our Fight, Say ‘Divorced’ Muslim Women

The Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Marriage) Bill, 2017, which criminalises the practice of instant divorce, on Wednesday. Muslim women say men now have no choice, but to abide by law.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:December 29, 2017, 1:00 PM IST
Triple Talaq Bill Adds Teeth to Our Fight, Say ‘Divorced’ Muslim Women
Network18 Creatives.
New Delhi: The fight against patriarchy from “Shah Bano to Shayara Bano” has come a long way with the Lok Sabha passing the Muslim Women (Protection of Marriage) Bill, 2017, which criminalises the practice of instant divorce.

“There were no laws then at the time of Shah Bano. It was the fight of a lone women. But now scores and scores of women came out to fight patriarchy,” said Zakia Soman, one of the founding members of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan.

Soman said that in the absence of any law on triple talaq, there were misinterpretations of personal laws, thus leading to suffering of Muslim women. “Without any law, we wouldn’t be able to fight the patriarchy,” she said.

Ishrat Jahan, 31, was divorced through instant triple talaq over phone from Dubai in April, 2015. She is now empowered to take the fight further. Ishrat was divorced after 15 years into her marriage.

Her lawyer Nazia Elahi said, “She has been deserted for a long time now – she is filing a case for maintenance. The new law will instill fear in men, now they know they will either have to suffer or give the woman the rights she deserves.”

Arshiya Ismail, chief training officer in Army College, who has been waiting for justice for past six years, was married to an Indian Air Force Officer. She said, “The law will give more legality to my fight. It will instill fear and knock some sense in men before they arbitrarily leave their wives.”

Arshiya can’t help but wonder what happens to all those women who fight for their justice without any support. “My talaq was not even certified by the All India Muslim personal law Board. They told him I am his legally wedded wife, yet my husband had his way and deserted me. This law is a welcome move. Men will be forced to think before giving triple talaq.”

Gulshan Parveen, 31, from Rampur, Uttar Pradesh was married in April 2013 and was subjected to domestic violence for dowry for over two years. She received talaqnama from her husband on Rs 10 stamp paper. “This is a piecemeal move – focus is more on criminalization. As citizens of India we follow the constitution and for the real victory we need codification of Muslim Personal Law,” said Parveen.

Riding high on the new development, Somam said, “We don’t care about the criticism from those who did not help us and were not part of the struggle.”
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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