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'Model Nikahnama a step forward'

May 06, 2005 21:18 IST

The All India Democratic Women's Association has welcomed the "Model Nikahnama" released by All India Muslim Personal Law Board, calling it a step forward.

The Secretariat of AIDWA, after a careful study, has noted that the board has made recommendations, which have started the process of discussions, change, codification and reform in Muslim Personal Laws.

However, the women's group feels that the document falls short of the democratic demands made by reformist sections within the Muslim community and women's organisations.

Also read: Model Nikahnama unveiled

AIDWA president Subhashini Ali and vice-president Birinda Karat expressed their views in a press statement on Friday.

The statement says the Muslim board has made amendments to its earlier draft including exclusion of its outrageous sanction to child marriage. It has rightly demanded that no state government deprive Muslim women of their rights to agricultural land.

"However, its insistence on the demand for official constitution of Sharia courts has to be rejected outright," the press note says.

Using the space provided by the discussions, reformists in the community and women's organisations will have to build a strong movement to force the AIMPLB for further reform, the statement said. AIDWA will be writing to the AIMPLB about its response.

Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi