Absence of uniformity has perpetuated inequalities, says NCW

The non-codified nature of Muslim Personal Law has posed challenges for Muslim women and there’s an urgent need for its codification, the National Commission for Women (NCW) said after a discussion on Saturday.

The consultation, “Rights of Muslim Women: Reviewing Muslim Personal Law’’, was held in the backdrop of the Law Commission’s recent call seeking responses from the public and various organisations on the implementation of a UCC.

It was attended by the Attorney General of India, the Additional solicitor general from the Supreme Court, state high courts, Vice Chancellors of various law universities, legal professionals and civil society organisations.

In a statement, the NCW said that the absence of a UCC has perpetuated inequalities.

“In our pursuit of equality, let’s reflect: if a law cannot serve the rights of Hindu, Christian, Sikh, and Buddhist women, can we truly say it is just for Muslim women? The need for codified laws is urgent. We need to work towards a legal framework that ensures equal rights for all, regardless of religion,’’ said NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma.

The statement said that during the consultation, there was an unequivocal need expressed for the codification of Muslim Personal Law, in particular the “need to revisit the marriage and divorce law and guardianship law’’.

Attorney General of India R Venkataramani said there is a need for reforming and strengthening the institution of marriage with regards to equal regard for men and women, equal status and equality of processes ensuring dignity in entering and exiting marital relationships irrespective of religion.

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