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Marriage and its Discontents

Women, Islam, and the Law in India


Debates around Muslim Personal Law, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act and the Muslim Women (protection of Rights on Divorce) Act have tended to focus on the issue of unilateral divorce, a right granted to husbands, as well as on polygamy and other discriminatory provisions in MPL.

This landmark study, while giving no quarter to undesirable practices like triple talaq, presents the author's detailed findings on when, and how, Muslim women resort to legal remedies should their marriages break down. Her thoughtful- and thought-provoking-analysis is based on ten years of research in Chennai and Hyderabad, during which she consulted family court records and court petitions; conducted extensive interviews with government-appointed qazis in both cities; met and had detailed discussions with the women themselves, as well as with lawyers, judges, counsellors, court staff and advocates. She also examined, for the first time, the phenomenon of wife-initiated divorces or Khula, and made the startling discovery that their number far exceeded court awarded divorces in any given year.
Vatuk’s account, based on exhaustive empirical data from south India, is the first comprehensive study on how Muslim women negotiate MPL, the family courts and extra-judicial options in order to exit marriages that no longer work.

Author: Sylvia Vatuk
Year: 2017
Price: Rs. 650
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 273
Dimensions: 8.5 in x 6.5 in
Publisher: Women Unlimited
ISBN 13: 9789385606090

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