One Woman’s Lone Crusade Against Triple Talaq
For Shayara Bano, 15 years of marital torture that involved not one but several coerced abortions was just the tip of the iceberg. The 38-year-old was recovering from her last abortion in her parents’ village in Kashipur when she received a rude shock in the form of a talaqnama (divorce deed) from her husband in Allahabad by post.
“I had 6-7 abortions without my consent. My husband would give me a tablet,” she revealed in an interview with Times of India, also adding how she was abused, beaten and threatened.
Shayara, who has not been able to speak to her children, who are still in Allahabad since being handed the divorce deed, is determined, like many Muslim women in the country, to campaign for a ban on the triple talaq.
With the help of two advocates, Shayara has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking a ban on a practise that has been outlawed in several countries around the world, and is also hoping to acquire custody of her children.
Last year, a survey by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), an NGO that fights for the rights of the community in India revealed that 92.1 percent of women surveyed wanted a total ban on oral and unilateral talaq, while 75.5 percent women want the age of marriage to be above 18 years for girls and 93% favoured an arbitration process to be mandatory before divorce. The survey also showed that muslim women opposed polygamy, with 91.7 percent claiming they did not want their husbands to marry another woman in the subsistence of first marriage.
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