Triple talaq: Data shows situation of women in other religions worse
Rather than projecting triple talaq as the major issue to be confronted to empower the Muslim women in the country, the Indian government needs to focus on the 43 million widowed women belonging to all parts of society, the report suggested
The efforts to introduce Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India, replacing various religious personal laws, are claiming to make reformations within religions, ending the existing undemocratic customs. However, the discussion around UCC has so far focussed on the Muslim laws, especially practices such as polygamy and triple talaq, ignoring other discriminatory practices existing in other religious communities.
The Allahabad High Court last week termed the so-called triple talaq system as unconstitutional, after the Central government’s statement in October saying the absence of reforms in the (Muslim) community during the past 65 years has left Muslim women extremely vulnerable, both socially as well as financially. However, latest reports citing data from the Census of India – 2011 claim the condition of women from other religions in India is worse than Muslim women.
A report published in The Wire, which analysed data from the ‘Marital Status by Religious Community and Sex – 2011’ C3 table of the census, said the situation of Indian Muslim women seems far better than women from other religious groups.
According to the Census data, the percentage of women staying in marriage is highest amongst Muslims (87.8%) when compared to Hindus (86.2%), Christians (83.7%) and other religious minorities (85.8%).
Moreover, the percentage of widowed women is least amongst Muslims (11.1%, while the percentage of widowed women in Hindus (12.9%), Christians (14.6%) and other religious Minorities (13.3%) are relatively higher.
The report also showed that the number of separated and abandoned women is less amongst the Muslims when compared to other religions in the country. The Census data revealed the percentage of such women in Muslims is 0.67%, when compared to Hindus (0.69%), Christians (1.19%) and other religious Minorities (0.68%).
The data further suggested the divorced women percentage is higher amongst the Muslims ay 0.49% and Christians at 0.47%. The percentage of divorced women amongst the Hindus is 0.22% though the practice of getting a divorce amongst the Hindus is traditionally non-existent, The Wire said.
Citing anecdotal evidence, the report said that triple talaq is rare and the community by and large has strongly stood by the side of the victim when they have occurred.
Rather than projecting triple talaq as the major issue to be confronted to empower the Muslim women in the country, the Indian government needs to focus on the 43 million widowed women belonging to all parts of society, the report suggested.