Inside Story

Should India review Muslim divorce law?

Women’s groups condemn “all at once” declaration by Muslim men known as “triple talaq” to divorce their wives.

Women’s groups in India are calling for a review of the way Muslim men are allowed to divorce their wives.

A process known as talaq, based on the Arabic word for divorce, allows Muslim men to end their marriages by pronouncing their intention three times.

According to Islam, that should happen over a period of three months, to give both parties time to think through the consequences.

Women’s groups have long argued that the declaration is being uttered in one go, effectively resulting in instant divorce.

The so-called “triple talaq” is banned in many Islamic countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Now rights activists say the opportunity for “digital divorce” is leaving women even more vulnerable, with men exercising the option of “triple talaq” through social media sites such as Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp.

It’s adding to pressure for reforms, but is there an appetite for change in a patriarchal society that has historically favoured men?

Presenter:Hazem Sika


Kamal Faruqui, co-founder of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

Zakia Soman, co-founder of the women’s rights group, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan.

Karuna Nundy, an international lawyer, and advocate at the Supreme Court of India.