Nov 30, 2016

Muslim woman is under tremendous oppression! Featured

Muslim women in Sri Lanka are under tremendous oppression due to the Muslim marriage law in the country, says a Muslim women’s rights activist.

She has told BBC Sandeshaya that in the past three years alone, they had helped nearly 3,000 Muslim women who had been in trouble over child marriages, divorce and mental stress.

The female activist was speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the traditional Muslim society.

She blamed their plight on the non-amendment of powers that remain unchallenged for nearly five decades and enjoyed by the Hadi court with regard to Muslim marriages.

For instance, when an underage girl is given in marriage, only the man signs in the marriage certificate, and the girl is not entitled to any right.

As a result, if a man wants to get a divorce, he should not have to give any reasons, said the activist.

Noting an example, she said if a divorced woman lives with her children in Mannar, and the man lives in Colombo, she should file action in Colombo to seek maintenance.

The female Muslim activist went onto say that in cases of sexual harassment, the hearing takes place by the men-only Hadi court.

Under threat for nearly 20 years

She said she had been under threat for nearly 20 years for having called for amendments to the Muslim marriage and divorce act.

Some Thowheed Jamath men harass her family, including her children too, who in turn blame it all on her, she said.

Amidst all these, she continues to help the women, as she feels their pain.

She added that she would not stop her services, for which she has the help of around 5,000 women scattered throughout the island.

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