Short report-Improving Socio-Legal Status of Muslim women

State Consultation – Improving Socio-Legal Status of Muslim Women
Kalina Campus, Mumbai University

A full day consultation on improving the socio-legal status of Muslim community was held in Kalina campus of Mumbai University co-organized by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andola, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Studies and Multiple Research and Action Group
More than 100 Muslim women and men from Mumbai, Yavatmal, Nasik, Osmanabad, Pune city, Sangamner, Pimpri, Daund, Indapur, took part in these deliberations. Activists, journalists, academicians, lawyers were part of the forum.
The panelists in the morning session were Ms. Zakia Soman from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Javed Anand from Muslims for Secular Democrary, Khatoon Shaikh from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Dr. Chandrakant Puri from Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Studies, Anju Talukdar from Multiple Research Action Group, Faiyaz Inamdar from Muslim Samanway Samiti, Ritu Dewan and Sandhya Mhatre from Mumbai University. The morning session was facilitated by Noorjehan Safia Niaz
The panelists in the afternoon panel were Ghazala Azad from NEEDs Foundation, Maqbool Alam-activist, Nusrat Pathan from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Adv. Uraizee, Mallika Mistry from University of Pune, Nirja Bhatnagar from Action Aid, Nabi Idrisi from Idrisi Association, Salim Shaikh from Muslim Samanway Samiti. The afternoon session was facilitated by Dr. Chandrakant Puri
The focus of the deliberations was to generate suggestions and ideas to make the Minority Commission and Women’s Commission more responsive to the challenges faced by Muslim women in India. The deliberations will shortly be released and will give a glimpse of the ways in which these Commissions need to engage with Muslim women.
Briefly the following recommendations were given by panelists as well as participants.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO MINORITY COMMISSION
·        These Commissions need more teeth and power
·        The work of the Commission must not be impacted by political interference
·       The Commission must get statutory approval to make provision for 50%   women members.
·       There must also be statutory provision to give equal space for issues of Muslim women
·       The Commission must have offices in all district of the state
·       The Commission must reach out to Muslim girls and women to understand their concerns and aspirations and communicate this to their political bosses
·       The Commission must effectively overlook the implementation of various schemes meant for the Muslim community. It must collaborate and tie up with NGOs for the same.
·       NGOs must also be part of the state committee to monitor the implementation of these schemes
·       The Muslim Family law must be codified to ensure legal justice to Muslim women
·      The Wakf Land must be used for building hostels for girls for education and economic empowerment
·       A study must be done to assess the percentage of Muslim women beneficiaries in schemes of Women and Child Development and MAVIM and other schemes
·       The state must ensure that schemes announced under the 12th 5-year plan must have Muslim women beneficiaries
·       End to corruption in MAFC and MAF and strengthen them with more budget and human power and infrastructure
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM WOMEN’S COMMISSION
·         The Commission must have more teeth and power
·         It must be made immune to political interference
·         An effective chairperson must be immediately instated in the Women’s Commission
·       Women representatives from Muslim community must be made members of the Commission
·       The Commission must reach out to Muslim women and girls to understand their aspirations and issues
·       The Commission must have offices in all districts of the state
·       The Commission must work in collaboration with NGOs across the state for effective implementation of various policies and programmes
·       The Commission must ensure that Muslim women get benefits of the schemes announced by state and national government
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