When we talk about women rights, the majority of us have not really ever faced the violation of it. We raise our voices primarily by going through how women are tortured or exploited in ways in our early morning newspapers. Or, we rarely listen to them being suffered through inhuman ways. Now imagine a state where there has been such planned violation or denial of your rights that you never really knew what they are supposed to mean. Yes, that is what Muslim women in Britain are going through. Some say they possess rights even fewer than the women of the Islamic countries.
When the Second Sex hopelessly sighs
In today’s world where all the hardbound rules around the globe are being amended to serve purposes, is it fair for the women to undergo hardships of ancient marriage laws? Muslim women in Britain have often been heard to complain about their despair once they have been divorced and separated. Till date, there is no law of the royal country which would provide them the right for demanding a civil divorce and later the rightful alimony. A Muslim man can get the divorce within seconds of uttering the Urdu word “talaq” thrice while a Muslim woman is not granted that simple right. The rule that is observed is that in a Muslim nation a woman needs to ask for a divorce from an Islamic judge while in the non-Muslim nation, they need to talk to a Sharia Council in order to seek judicial permission to be free from the marital ties. In cases where there are no particular grounds, the woman waits for “Mehr” or a monetary gift from the ex-husband.
The epitome of being unfair
Muslim divorce law perhaps describes proper real-life illustration of how gender discrimination persists even today. Under similar laws, a Muslim man is free to have another wife and family while a Muslim woman is not. She, on the contrary, is still bound by contracts of marriage. Again, it has been observed that if a Muslim spouse has not gone through a marriage registered in the civil law court, it is next to impossible for the Muslim woman to seek a divorce. However, for a man, it is all so easy.
What must be done?
Britain’s Marriage Act of 1949 should be updated so that it becomes mandatory for all Muslim spouses to register their marriages in the civil law court, similar to what is done in the Muslim nations. If the law can be enforced, it would become easier for the Muslim women to find stability in their marriage and also if a divorce takes place. Their rights in such a circumstance cannot be exploited and they would be in a situation to demand financial share after legitimate separation. It also saves them the money which the Sharia Council charges. For a divorce from civil marriage, they charge merely 100 pounds, while for a civil divorce from just an Islamic marriage they charge 300-400 pounds, the additional amount in order to investigate the marriage.