Indian Muslim Women’s Movement: For Gender Justice and Equal Citizenship, by Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Safia Niaz
Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Safia Niaz, Indian Muslim Women’s Movement: For Gender Justice and Equal Citizenship, Notion Press, 2020.
This collection of essays and articles captures the beginning of the Muslim women’s movement in India in the last two decades. Written at different points during the journey, these pieces provide a glimpse into the collective tumultuous journey of women demanding reform in Muslim family law in India and for equal citizenship without discrimination. This journey was undertaken by ordinary women under their own leadership. This collection highlights the challenges faced by women. It also celebrates successes such as the organization of women into groups, abolition of triple talaq and women’s entry into the mazar of Haji Ali Dargah. This book is a collection of articles written by authors, individually and jointly in various newspapers, magazines, journals and other publications. It challenges the misogynist regressive norms for women in family set by patriarchal religious groups. It calls for state accountability in providing safety, security and equality to Muslim citizens. Based on experiences and insights from grounded struggle of ordinary women, these essays give hope and provide strength in addressing discrimination through shared vision and collective democratic action. It calls out the failure of conservative religious leadership as well as elected representatives in providing an enabling environment to the community and particularly, women. It calls out certain feminists for their dual standards and for unsuccessful attempts to weaken the movement for reform in family law led by ordinary Muslim women.