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Women and
gender justice

Women and gender justice / Presentation

Islam - Sharia

Photo by Andy Dean Photography / Alamy

Islam - Sharia

Emerging empowerment of Muslim women

Muslim women are slowly emerging from behind the curtain and fighting for their rights.

I raise up my voice — not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard… We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.

Malala Yousafzai

Muslim women fight for justice

By Altaf Ahmad, extracts from Khabar Magazine, South Asia, 3rd August 2013

Indian Muslim women have set an example for women the world over by setting up their own Sharia courts, where, proponents say, women can be heard and given their due rights.

“We are brutalised the way the judgements are pronounced in favour of men in the Sharia courts run by Mullahs. The Qazi (arbitrator) passes his decree without listening to our problems and we are left with no option,” says Noorjehan Safia, founder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA). The BMMA is an organisation set up to support Muslim women’s causes. They have set up Sharia courts in various parts of the country. “Our Sharia courts are functional in Chennai, Bhopal, Pune and Mumbai. The courts run on a daily basis. The number of cases-particularly matters related to divorce-is increasing day by day. Women who are victims of domestic violence are approaching us on a regular basis.”

[...] Moreover, Muslim women’s advocates say, subjugation and mistreatment of women is a distortion of the Qur’an. Women-run courts aim to treat women with the dignity Islam accords to them.

“We are living in a male dominated society, where women are considered as child-producing machines or treated as mere objects for demonstration. From home to work, she is exploited everywhere and if she complains she is stigmatised. This happens in every community, whether Muslim or non Muslim,” Nasreen Hamid, joint editor of Voice of Millions and Global Women’s lib chairwoman [...].

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has given cautious approval to the women-run courts.

“Islam is the religion of justice- women are most respected and honoured under Sharia law. Women enjoy equal rights and have say in every affair of life. If women find it fit to solve their problems through such courts, I think no one has a problem. Trouble arises when imbalance in society occurs,” AIMPLB Secretary Moulana Muhammad Wali Rahmani [...].

I raise up my voice — not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard… We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.

Malala Yousafzai