Women Want 'Instant Divorce' To Be Banned In India
In India, all that is needed for a Muslim man to end a marriage is to say ‘talaq’ three times. And he doesn’t even need to speak the word – he can write it and send it in a letter to wherever his wife happens to be. The word means divorce in Arabic, and once it has been uttered (or written) three times, it cannot be undone. A woman does not have the same recourse to divorce as a man, as she needs to consult a cleric first, and he must give her permission which is not often granted.
Although many Islamic countries have banned this practice (including Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia), seeing it as unfair and far too easily done, India still has not.
One of the main problems with this kind of ‘instant divorce’ is that there is no settlement involved, and no need to go to court. This means that all too often, women are left with nothing, and even the couple’s children may not receive any financial support.
At the moment, the number of women being divorced by talaq is around one in every 11, and less than five percent of those ever see any money from their ex-husbands.
The Indian courts say that talaq is part of the Koran, and therefore must remain in place. However, scholars have countered this by saying that the Koran also says that although talaq can happen, it must be preceded by at least three months of reflection and contemplation, during which the couple should try to reconcile. And this is why these instant divorces, often done in anger without any attempt to talk things through, are being discussed.
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