India’s government on Wednesday approved an ordinance to implement a top court ruling striking down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce.
The government decision came after it failed to get approval of Parliament a year after the court ruled that the practice of triple “talaq” violated the constitutional rights of Muslim women.
Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by the Muslim Personal Law for family matters and disputes. The laws include allowing men to divorce by simply uttering the Arabic word “talaq,” or divorce, three times — and not necessarily consecutively, but at any time, and by any medium, including telephone, text message or social media post.
The government will have another six months to get Parliament’s approval for the ordinance to become law. But in the meantime, suspects can be prosecuted using the ordinance.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that nearly 22 countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice and appealed to the opposition to approve the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.
India’s Muslim Law Board had told the court that while they considered the practice wrong, they opposed any court intervention and asked that the matter be left to the community. But several progressive Muslim activists decried the law board’s position.
After the Supreme Court verdict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government introduced a bill criminalizing the practice and it was approved in December by the lower house of Parliament, where his party commands a majority. But it couldn’t get the approval of the upper house, where the opposition controls the majority of seats.
The main opposition Congress party is opposing a three-year prison sentence for the offenders and wants a parliamentary committee to discuss the issue to reach a consensus. It favors a lesser sentence.
In India, triple talaq has continued with the protection of laws that allow Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities to follow religious laws in matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption. While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched. (VOA)
Female survivors of Domestic Abuse are at double the risk of developing long-term illnesses that cause widespread bodily pain and extreme tiredness, a new study suggests.
Published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, the research from Universities of Birmingham and Warwick in the UK shows that women who have experienced domestic abuse are almost twice as likely to develop fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) than those who have not.
Fibromyalgia causes pain all over the body, while CFS is an illness with a wide range of symptoms, most common of which is extreme tiredness. They are both long-term conditions.
“We have been aware that domestic abuse has significant negative effects for victims and their children. This and other related work by our team showing strong associations with several diseases suggests that the costs of abuse are even greater than understood previously,” said Indian-origin researcher and study co-author Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay from the University of Birmingham.
“The higher incidence of long-term illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, for abused women implies the existence of an additional hidden cost to society that we need to understand better,” Bandyopadhyay added.
The study, examined the general practitioner (GP) records dating between 1995 and 2017 of 18,547 women who had suffered domestic abuse, compared to 74,188 who had not.
They found the risk of developing fibromyalgia and CFS in women who have experienced domestic abuse was twice the rate of those who had no recorded experience by their GP, after taking into account factors which may influence the association.
The incidence rate ratio for developing fibromyalgia was 1.73 (1.36-2.22). The incidence rate ratio of developing CFS was 1.91 (1.11-3.33)
It comes after a previous study led by the University of Birmingham showed that UK domestic abuse victims are three times more likely to develop severe mental illnesses.
“Considering the prevalence of domestic abuse, and the fact that patients experiencing fibromyalgia and CFS often face delays in diagnosis due to a limited understanding generally of how these conditions are caused, it is important for clinicians to bear in mind that women who have survived abuse are at a greater risk of these conditions,” Chandan added.
According to the study, survivors of Domestic Abuse can experience immense physiological and psychological stress. (IANS)