Over 90% of Muslim women, surveyed by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) across 10 states, want a ban on oral and unilateral Talaq (divorce) and have rejected polygamy.
The survey, released in New Delhi on Thursday, also revealed that an overwhelming number of women — 88.5% of the total 4,710 women surveyed — want action against the cleric for sending notice of oral divorces. A staggering 93% women also stated that they wanted arbitration to be made mandatory before a divorce.
“Around 91.7% or 4,320 women have spoken out against polygamy saying that a Muslim man should not be allowed to have another wife during the subsistence of the first marriage,” stated the survey findings, which covered states like West Bengal, Maharashtra, Bihar and Jharkhand.
The survey report also stated that 83.3% Muslim women surveyed believed that codification of Muslim family law will help them get justice.
“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,” said Mumbai-based Noorjehan Safia Niaz, who along with Zakia Soman conducted the survey.
Niaz said that the survey was an attempt to give voice to what Muslim women want rather than letting others speak on their behalf.
“For long, everyone else has been speaking on behalf of Muslim women in India. We wanted to find out what do Indian Muslim women think and want so we conducted the survey which took us two years to complete. An overwhelming number of women want reforms in Muslim personal law as is prevalent in the country today,” said Niaz.