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India: Anti-woman resolutions of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind are condemnable

by All India Progressive Women’s Association, 18 November 2009

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All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA)

18 November, 2009

Some of the resolutions adopted at the congregation of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind in Deoband’s Dar-Ul-Uloom seminary strongly offend the principle of women’s equality.

For instance, the resolution calling the Bill for 33% reservation for women “unnecessary as well as unacceptable” does not stop at expressing the apprehension that it might diminish the presence of minorities in representative assemblies. It goes on to declare that “Such a desperate attempt to bring women into the mainstream will create various other social problems issues including their security.” This implies that in order to keep women ‘secure’ they must be deprived of their rights and of a voice in the mainstream!

The idea that women must be kept from the public arena in the name of their own ‘security’ – often expressed by the RSS – is an abhorrent one. The fact is that women are rendered far more insecure because they are deprived of a space and a voice in the public arena, and the oppression and violence they face in society and within the family remain ‘hidden.’ It is unfortunate that the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind also chose to repeat and propagate such offensive anti-women views.

The resolutions also state that “On completion of 10 years of age, complete shariat norms should be observed while continuing their (girls’) education.” This resolution also threatens to deprive Muslim girls of the benefits of a complete education, and can only have a disempowering impact on them. AIPWA holds that community organisations –be they khaap panchayats or organisations like the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind should not attempt to impose unconstitutional restrictions on women in the name of ‘protecting’ culture.

Tahira Hasan,
- National Vice President, AIPWA
- 09628281631

Kavita Krishnan,
- National Secretary, AIPWA
- 9868112252