ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Politics behind Criminalising Triple Talaq

The government is intending to override a well-established norm that laws for minority communities must be enacted after holding discussions with community leaders/representatives, legal experts, and other stakeholders, and after striving to reach a consensus, by tabling the bill to criminalise triple talaq. Behind this hasty move is the formulation that the Muslim woman must invariably be projected as devoid of rights and lacking agency, and the Muslim male as premodern, lustful, polygamous, and barbaric.

Supreme Court’s Judgment Ignores Lived Reality of Married Women

This article was earlier published in the EPW website.Flavia Agnes ( flaviaagnes@gmail.com ) is a women’s rights lawyer and director of Majlis, which runs a rape victim support programme in Mumbai.

Are Women Liars? Supreme Court's Judgment Ignores Lived Reality of Married Women

The Supreme Court's judgment in the Rajesh Sharma v State of UP which passed adverse remarks about the "misuse" of Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code by women to harass their husbands and in-laws, ignores the lived realities of a vast majority of married women. It completely ignores the fact that the aggrieved woman approaches the police and courts as a last resort and in the face of intolerable cruelty.

Triple-Talaq: Muslim Women's Rights and Media Coverage

Despite the large number of positive court judgements in favour of Muslim women in India, the media prefers to endorse the view that once the husband pronounces talaq, the wife is stripped of all her rights. Similarly, articles by experts, while focusing on the need to declare instantaneous triple talaq invalid, pay little attention to the rights laboriously secured from the trial courts, the high courts and even the Supreme Court by many Muslim women.

Muslim Women's Rights and Media Coverage

Despite the large number of positive court judgments in favour of Muslim women in India, the media prefers to endorse the view that once the husband pronounces talaq, the wife is stripped of all her rights. Similarly, articles by experts, while focusing on the need to declare instantaneous triple talaq invalid, pay little attention to the rights laboriously secured from the trial courts, the high courts and even the Supreme Court, by many Muslim women.

Muslim Women’s Rights and Media Coverage

Despite the large number of positive court judgements in favour of Muslim women in India, the media prefers to endorse the view that once the husband pronounces talaq, the wife is stripped of all her rights. Similarly, articles by experts, while focusing on the need to declare instantaneous triple talaq invalid, pay little attention to the rights laboriously secured from the trial courts, the high courts and even the Supreme Court by many Muslim women.

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence

After a prolonged campaign for criminal and civil laws to curb domestic violence, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 came into force. However, lasting solutions to the problem continue to be elusive, as the grim statistics of wife murders and suicides by married women record a steady rise. This article takes a close look at the manner in which this law is being implemented on the ground, and the many shortcomings, even as women continue to be blamed--earlier for "misusing" the law and now for not wanting to approach the courts because the justice delivery system is tardy. The crux of the issue is the support network that the victim of domestic violence needs and it is here that the implementation of the domestic violence law has failed most spectacularly.

Section 498A, Marital Rape and Adverse Propaganda

The need of the hour is to salvage Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code from the shackles of adverse propaganda and "misuse" by the media, goaded on by men's rights groups from the urban and privileged classes, and restore it as a viable law to protect victims of all types of domestic violence. The provisions of the civil law of Domestic Violence Act should be linked to the criminal provision which will help all affected women much more than the introduction of the charge of marital rape.

Liberating Hindu Women

The recent revival of the discussion on enacting a Uniform Civil Code, which its proponents believe will give all women equal rights, overlooks the reality of the discrimination that Hindu women continue to face despite amendments in Hindu personal laws, including on issues of maintenance and inheritance. Rather than uniformity in law, women need an accessible and affordable justice system.

The Making of a High Profile Rape Trial

The Shakti Mills trial of Mumbai, as the court cases relating to the two gang rapes in 2013 came to be known, led to the accused being sentenced to death. This is an account by the members of a survivor support project who supported the two young women at the centre of these cases. It offers insights into the prosecution's strategy, the police investigations and the grit and spirit of the two young women and their respective mothers, and how the survivor's socio-economic profile often dictates not only how she is treated but even the outcome of the case.

Controversy over Age of Consent

In the recent debate over amendments to the law on rape, the age of consent for women attracted attention, for almost all the wrong reasons. What was overlooked was that the law has not helped in interventions at the community level to curb child marriages arranged by natal families. There is a need for community-level sensitisation, greater security for girls in public spaces, and better resources for education of girls in povertystricken villages and urban slums. The campaign for stringent laws alone has merely strengthened patriarchal power and weakened the negotiating power of young girls contracting marriages of choice.

No Shortcuts on Rape

The vigorous public discourse following the recent brutal gang rape and mutilation of the 23-year-old in Delhi is a positive sign but hopefully the demand for quick solutions will not ignore the complexities involved in dealing with all forms of violence against women. There are also other connected issues that require urgent attention including the description of a rape as a "state worse than death", making out certain acts of violence to be rare aberrations when they are depressingly routine, ignoring the sexual violence within families and the need to make the legal system accountable to the female citizenry.

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