Sri Lanka’s Muslim Personal Law Reforms Action Group Releases Report on Muslim Women’s Struggle for Justice and Equality in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Muslim Personal Law Reforms Action Group releases report on Muslim women’s struggle for justice and equality in Sri Lanka

In November, 2016, Sri Lankan women’s rights activists Hyshyama Hamin and Hasanah Cegu Isadeen completed ‘Unequal Citizens: Muslim women’s struggle for justice and equality in Sri Lanka’ – a one-year study that sought answers as to why the reforms to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) was many decades overdue. In light of the constitutional reforms process, ‘Unequal Citizens: Muslim women’s struggle for justice and equality in Sri Lanka’ led to the inquiry about how and why Muslim women are not equal before the law. Not only are Sri Lankan Muslim women subject to personal laws that deny them equality in an integral aspect of our lives – marriage and family, but there are also no constitutional guarantees and safeguards of their fundamental rights to equality and non-discrimination.

The events and widespread discussions around the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) of 1951 in Sri Lanka has made it apparent that the status quo with respect to MMDA is untenable. There are serious shortcomings in provisions of the law, procedures and implementation. There are also serious consequences of these shortcomings in creating a culture of discrimination that has adversely impacted on the rights and wellbeing of women and girls within the Muslim community. The struggle of Muslim women for reform of the MMDA against heavy odds has been led by few committed activists, admirable and long suffering but also riven with limitations.

You can read more about the report here and access the full copy here.

TAGS:


UN Women