How the personal laws in India impinge upon the gender equality? Discuss.

Published: August 24, 2017

India is a diverse nation be it religion, be it language, be it ethnicity there is a huge diversity. In order to ensure that religious diversity is preserved, there are personal laws, for example Hindu law, Muslim personal law, Parsi personal law, Christian personal law.
However one issue that is most prominent in personal laws of all religion is that women are considered as subordinate to men, they are not considered as equal to men.
For example daughters in Hindu family were not given property rights initially, however after a Supreme Court verdict they were given equal rights in the property. But old age practices continue even after  SC verdict.
Another issue is that communities like Sikh, Buddhist and Jain are considered as Hindu as per Hindu personal law.
Similarly, Muslim personal law subjugates women through patriarch practice such as purdah, polygamy, unilateral divorce and triple talaq.
As per Christian law women cannot get a divorce on the grounds of adultery by husband on the other hand husband can divorce wife on the grounds of adultery.
Similarly as per Parsi Law, when Parsi women marry non-Parsi they lose their property rights and if a non Parsi women marry a Parsi they are entitled to only half of husband’s property.
This shows that all personal laws regardless of religion discriminate against women. Though there
Though there have been various initiative to reform like Hindu code, Shah Bano case and recent judgment of Supreme Court regarding triple talaq,  still a lot has to be done ensure gender justice.
Therefore the idea of Uniform Civil Code should be discussed. It is not about religion, it is about gender justice and Uniform Civil Code can help in ensuring that. There should be a piecemeal approach involving all stakeholders.

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