Indian Muslim women want the “triple talaq” divorce ritual and polygamy banned

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The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) said its survey also showed that three quarters of interviewees wanted a ban on child marriage, indicating a need for reforms in the Muslim personal law which governs family-related issues in India.90 percent of Muslim women surveyed in India want the “triple talaq” divorce ritual and polygamy banned from family civil law in the country, a study by a women’s rights organisation.
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Muslims are India’s largest religious minority, making up more than 13 percent of the country’s 1.2 billion population, yet government data shows they are among some of the most excluded and marginalised communities.Social indicators amongst Muslim women in particular are lower than average in the country.For example, the literacy rate for Muslim women is just 50 percent compared to nearly 68 percent for Muslim men, and below the national average for women of 53 percent, said the report.
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Only one in 100 Muslim women are graduates, while an average of 37 percent of Indian women overall have had a tertiary education, it added.The BMMA said that while there was an urgent need to improve Muslim women’s access to healthcare, education and employment, it was also essential to address their “legal marginalisation”.The study, which surveyed 4,710 Muslim married women across 10 Indian states, found nearly 92 percent of respondents said a Muslim man should not be allowed to have another wife during the first marriage.It also found that more than 88 percent of women interviewed wanted the legal divorce method to be the “talaq-e-ahsan” method — a practice spread over a period of 90 days and involving negotiation.
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Many women surveyed had experienced triple talaq, under which a Muslim man can repeat the word “talaq” three times to divorce his wife.The survey said some respondents were divorced orally, others by letters from their husbands, and some over the phone or by SMS. More than 78 percent had no say in the decision.