Delhi Commission For Women chairperson Swati Maliwal Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a law against Nikah Halala and polygamy.
She congratulated the prime minister on the efforts made by the Centre to criminalise Triple Talaq but expressed disappointment that the "government was addressing only one part of the issue".
In a civilized society where women and men are given equal status in every aspect, there is no place for these evil practices, she wrote.
"In any case, when countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and several others have already banned instant triple talaq, then why not India? Not just Triple Talaq but Nikah Halala and polygamy are also extremely cruel practices that affect a large section of our society," she wrote.
Child marriage, sati, female infanticide, dowry, abandonment by husband these are those social evils which were made illegal in law and have resulted in upliftment of women to a very large extent, Maliwal said.
Nikah Halala is a practice which is nothing but rape of a woman, she wrote.
"A woman once divorced by her husband cannot reconcile with him until she marries another man and develops a sexual relationship with the other man," she wrote.
The other man has to first divorce her and only then she can reconcile with her husband, read Maliwal's letter.
"It is physical abuse without the consent of the woman. In many cases it is seen that the second man refuses to give divorce to the woman and she is then forced to live with another man," she said.
This is a vicious cycle of torture and trauma for the woman entailing nothing but physical and mental abuse, she added.
Another cruel practice is that a Muslim man is allowed to keep four wives, that is he can marry four times without divorcing any of his previous wives, the DCW chairperson said.
"It seems that women hardly matter and are not given the basic respect a human being deserves. These practices are an assault on the right to equality for women guaranteed by the Constitution," she wrote in the letter.
Maliwal urged Modi to provide complete justice and include the provisions of criminalising Nikah Halala and polygamy in the same bill which has been introduced in the Lok Sabha.
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