13-Feb-2016: The Department of Law, Aligarh Muslim University in collaboration with the National Commission for Women (NCW) today started a two-day legal awareness programme on 'Rights of women' in which workshops in Aligarh and some rural areas will take place.
While speaking on 'Rights of Women in Islam', Professor Iqbal Ali Khan, Programme Director and Chairman, Department of Law said that at the time of marriage, it is the duty of the husband to pay for 'Mehr' (marital gift). He added that the woman does not have to spend her 'Mehr' money on household, but keep it for her safety and the Indian Law and Constitution recognizes and practices the law for Muslim Women.
He added that the Indian Constitution has a Muslim Marriage Act, which states that that the husband has to provide for his wife and a Muslim Woman has the right to ask for divorce in case of an estranged relationship with her husband.
"But sadly, many Muslim women are not aware about the constitutional and religious rights and it is hoped that this two-days programme will be do the required awareness," said Prof Khan.
Professor Shakil Samdani pointed out that India has a working Shariat Application Act of 1937 through which the Indian Constitution guarantees the safety of Muslim Personal Law in all questions relating to intestate succession, special property of females including personal property inherited or obtained under contract or gift or any other provision of Personal law, marriage, dissolution of marriage including talaq, ila, zihar, lian, khula and mubaraat, maintenance, dower, guardiaship, gifts, trusts and trust properties, and wakfs.
"However, many Indian Muslim women are not ware of their rights," said Prof Samdani adding that proper education in general and legal education in particular is required to aware bring awareness in Muslim women and this programme is expected to help Muslim and non-Muslim women understand their rights guaranteed by the constitution.
Congress leader and former Member of Legislative Assembly, Mr Vivek Bansal, who attended the programme as the Chief Guest pointed out that a lot has been done since Independence to make us feel elated. "Our constitution has provided women with equality of suffrage, education, work, marriage, divorce and property rights along with many other things.
He added that still due to ignorance, some women face social inequalities and mistreatment by their spouses.
"Women empowerment will be realized when women living in rural and urban areas are equally aware of their rights," said Mr Bansal
While speaking on 'Women workers in Factories', Prof Zaheeruddin said that Labour laws apply to that area of activity where women are working under a contract of employment.
He added that working women form a major thick peace of society amongst â?? labourers and it is necessary to make them aware of their rights so that they do not become vulnerable.
"For women working in factories, many legislative provisions have been provided in almost all labour statutes addressing problems of women labourers in their employment situation," he said.
Prof Zaheeruddin added that the Government of India for the protection and welfare of women workers has adopted various provisions. "These labour welfare legislations include statutory enactments exclusively for women workers like the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976," said Prof Zaheeruddin.
He added that Indian laws provide special provisions for the welfare of women workers like The Factories Act 1948, The Mines Act 1952, The Plantation Labour Act 1951, The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act 1966, The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, The Inter-state Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1979, Building and Other Construction Workers Act (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1996 along with many other such Acts.
Speaking on 'Domestic Violence in India', Prof M Ashraf said that it is imperative for women from all sections of India to know that in 1983, domestic violence was recognized as a specific criminal offence by the introduction of section 498-A into the Indian Penal Code.
"This section deals with cruelty by a husband or his family towards a married woman if the husband's behaviour towards the wife is likely to drive a woman to suicide, cause grave injury to the life or health of the woman and harassment with the purpose of forcing the woman or her relatives to give some property or harassment because the woman or her relatives are unable to yield to demands for more money or does not give some property," said Prof Ashraf.
Dr Wasim Ali pointed out that it is necessary to make women aware that India has laws on 'Agricultural Property Share' which gives equal share to woman in the property with the men folk in their family.
"Even though laws have been created but still many women due to lack of education are not aware of their rights," added Dr Ali.
Dr Hashmat Ali Khan said that many women in India are not aware that the 'Quantum of Maintenance' in cases of divorces and separation are decided on the economic status of both men and women and at times mostly in rural areas, men separate from the wives without providing any maintenance money.
Dr Shahim Akhtar said that ignorance should not be used as an excuse and economic development is not possible without women empowerment.
While delivering the vote of thanks, Prof Javaid Talib, Dean, Faculty of Law said that men and women should have cordial relations for running their family, however it is important for women to understand their rights in cases of estranged relations with their spouses.
Meanwhile, Prof Samdani also conducted the programme.