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11 October 2013

Legal centres to educate Muslim women on rights

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By Anangsha Patra

Guwahati: In a bid to create awareness among Muslim women about their rights and existing laws, an NGO will set up legal information centres across the state.

Marg, the NGO working for providing justice to women through legal empowerment, has decided to open these centres in the villages of the state. Initially, it has planned to open one centre. The project is supported by the British High Commission.

On the sidelines of the 'state-level meeting on strengthening institutional linkages and workshop on rights of Muslim women' held recently, Marg programme officer Rajesh Deoli said, "There are many Muslim women who have no idea about their rights or existing laws. They think that the laws formulated for the women of the country are not meant for them as almost everything in their lives are decided by imams. As a result, they remain deprived of their rights. We will open the legal information centres to create awareness among them about their rights."

He said the centres will work through local NGOs. Legal advisers would provide counselling to women in distress. The centres will also work for providing legal training and organize legal empowerment programmes.

"Even government offices discriminate against Muslim women. There are several cases when a Muslim woman who is a victim of domestic violence goes to a government organization dealing with women's issues are refused aid. Officials usually hesitate to take up the case on the premise that there are different laws for them, though that is not the case. Laws against domestic violence are meant for each and every woman in the country. However, now, the government is trying to change the scenario," he added.

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

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