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Shia women get divorce rights


Deborah Grey,CNN-IBN
Nov 26, 2006 at 07:56pm IST

Mumbai: The All India Shia Convention has released a new Shia nikahnama, which makes Shia marriage a legal contract enforceable in the court of law.

The new nikahnama was released at the second annual session of the All India Shia Personal Law Board, being held in Mumbai.

Among other highlights of the new model of Shia nikahnama, women are likely to get right to divorce men with the help of the new law.

Several prominent Shia ulemas, orators and intellectuals are taking part in the session to discuss vital issues concerning the sect.

The new nikahnama is aimed at solving marriage-related problems, the session said, adding that special care has been taken for women's rights in the new model.

"Certain rights have been provided to women, which existed in Islam for the last 1,400 years, but not properly presented," a Shia leader said.

Meanwhile, the Shia Personal Law Board has also demanded a national policy for nearly Rs 5 crore.

"Shias are a minority within the Muslim community and their condition is pathetic. Politically, they are the most backward people in India with no representative at the Centre. In state assemblies also their presence is negligible," AISPLB media spokesperson Ali Meesam Husain said.

He also said that during nomination in government agencies, Shias usually are ignored.

"Shia Waqf boards exist only in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In other states Shia representation is nil in Muslim Waqf boards," Husain lamented.

The meeting is also likely to discuss "ways and means to wipe out terrorism".

The Board also said that special measures should be taken to ensure government jobs for the five-crore community members as any reservation for Muslims as such will not be enough.

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