August 1: Muslim Women Rights Day

Muslim Women Rights Day was observed on August 1 in India.

Highlights

Year 2021 marks second anniversary of triple talaq bill which is officially called as Muslim Women Act (Protection of Rights on Marriage) passed in the Rajya Sabha.

Background

  • Muslim Women Rights Day is observed on August 1 in the backdrop of Triple talaq bill that was approved in Parliament on August 1, 2019.
  • Triple talaq bill was a great milestone in liberating Muslim women from shackles of social evil that came in form of divorce terms.
  • Cases like ‘Shah Bano Begum & Ors vs Mohd. Ahmad Khan’, ‘Shayara Bano vs Union Of India and Ors’ laid the foundation stones for the move.
  • Shayara Bano in her writ petition asked Supreme Court to consider the three practices- talaq-e-biddat, polygamy, nikah-halala- as unconstitutional.
  • Cases were filing citing the violation of Articles 14, 15, 21, 25 of the Constitution.

Why this date is regarded as ‘Muslim Women Rights Day’?

The Triple Talaq law made ‘triple talaq’ a criminal offence. This law is considered as a crucial step because it ensured protection of Muslim women against gender inequality and empowerment by lawfully criminalising practice of instantaneous ‘talaq’. Hence this day is observed as Muslim Women Rights Day. This law seeks to promote women’s self-reliance, self-respect, and boost self-esteem because it strengthens fundamental and democratic rights of Muslim women.

About Triple Talaq Law

As per the Triple Talaq Act, declaration of talaq would be treated as a cognizable offence. Law provides for imprisonment of 3 years imprisonment along with a fine.

Success of the law

Ever since the law was passed, there has been a reduction in Triple Talaq cases by 82 per cent.

Which countries have banned triple talaq?

Egypt was the first country to ban triple talaq in 1929. Egypt is followed by Sudan, Pakistan (in 1956), Malaysia (in 1969), Bangladesh (in 1972), Iraq (in 1959) and Syria (in 1953). In the recent years, UAE, Morocco, Iran, Cyprus, Qatar, Jordan, Brunei, Algeria as well as India, have banned this practice.

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