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Women participation in decision making important, not numbers: BMMA to Muslim panel
Tuesday November 17, 2015 0:58 AM, Staff Reporter

Zakia Soman

Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Aandolan (BMMA), an influential group of women with members having grassroots support, Monday said the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) should have 'fair' participation of women in decision making, not just representation.

"What is important is the participation of women in decision making, not the numbers", Zakia Soman, BMMA Founder-President, said while talking to

Zakia was commenting on the reported invitation to women by the Muslim panel to join its working committee and the general body.

"Increasing representation of women in the Muslim personal law board will be futile if they do not have fair say in decision making", Zakia said.

Apart from improving the skewed gender ratio in its panels, the Muslim panel hopes that a “fair representation of women” will help it deal with their issues in a better way, according to the media reports.

At present, there are only seven women, including two special invitees, in 51-member Majlis-e-Aamla (working committee) of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). Moreover, the board has only 31 women in its 251-member general body.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which acts as the custodian of the Islamic Shariah in the country, now wants at least 51 women in its general body. It also wants around 20% of the working committee to be represented by women.

The board's decision to increase women representation follows the Supreme Court ruling to examine the sufferings of Muslim women due to triple talaq and polygamy.

After the Supreme Court's verdict pronounced on October 28, Zakia and other members of the Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Aandolan (BMMA) reiterated their demand to ban triple talaq with immediate effect. They also demanded reforms in the Muslim Personal Law and codification of Muslim family law.

However, they ruled out accepting the "open invitation" extended by the Muslim panel and become member of its working committee and the general body.

"The board has just decided to include more women as its members. There is no indication that the board is ready for the needed reform in the Muslim personal law", Zakia said.


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