Muslim women form ‘pledge groups’ to break up abusive and unlawful marriages

A group of Muslim women in India are forming “pledge groups” to encourage a younger generation of women to annul their marriages and run away with the children from their temporary marriages. “The ‘Pledge…

Muslim women form ‘pledge groups’ to break up abusive and unlawful marriages

A group of Muslim women in India are forming “pledge groups” to encourage a younger generation of women to annul their marriages and run away with the children from their temporary marriages.

“The ‘Pledge groups’ is a movement of women in the country, fed up with both the legal and social climate, so that women across India can take control of their lives through this drive,” reads the vow group’s website. “Today’s generation of girls, at 18 years, are marrying at younger and younger ages, which is not only against their dignity but it has brought a lot of conflict into their homes.”

According to the Times of India, these pledge groups were formed on the belief that these families were “practically calling them dua (offer) to destroy, abandon and obliterate”.

The group first made headlines in August, when 50 women signed an open letter asking Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, to help them fight back against their family’s “culture of abduction” and demanding that several sharia boards be shut down. (These legal boards enforce sharia law in the city, and the members are often from an older generation.)

A few months later, the group launched the “Pledge Groups”.

“In small villages and towns, there are village girls married off, many even in their mid-teens, who don’t even know the legal age,” says Trustee Urmila Ramkrishnan, according to The Nation. “There are problems associated with these families, and there are many girls born to these girls who are most vulnerable as they don’t have the decision-making power. So, there are problems, there are child marriages, there are poverty issues and every combination of factors, and these are the major reasons why the girls who are left in marriages are still bound to their families.”

“We are a group of educated women who have their own backgrounds and a lot of knowledge, we have been up against and know what to do.”

Read the full story at The Nation.

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