Feminism and Religion

On August 26, 2016, Bombay High Court ruled in a landmark verdict allowing the entry of women up to the mazar in the revered Sufi dargah in south central Mumbai. “Women be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah at par with men”, said Bombay HC, hence upholding women’s right to worship.

After Haji Ali verdict, a group of women in Kerala have started a campaign called #ReadyToWait saying they are not against the traditions and restrictions of the Sabarimala temple, and they are ready to wait till the age when they are allowed to enter the temple.

In response to #ReadyToWait, Nikita Azad who launched #HappyToBleed last year and created a buzz in national and global media is re-launching her campaign #NotReadyToWait with other women’s groups.

“Triple Talaq saves women from being killed, ban on polygamy encourages illicit sex,” says Muslim Personal Law Board in its argument against the demand to ban the Islamic practice of Triple Talaq. Muslim women activists call for a ban on Triple Talaq.

Convictions in USA

Judge orders immediate release of Purvi Patel after Indiana Court overturned foeticide conviction and downgraded the charge to neglect. Read Patel’s case history here.

Brock Turner was released early for ‘good behaviour’ on Friday morning, i.e. September 2, 2016, after serving only half of his six-months long sentence. Turner was found guilty of three felonies: assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object – a maximum of 14 years in a US state prison. However, he was only sentenced for six months in county jail by Judge Aaron Persky because prison could have a “severe impact” on his well-being.

Bills Passed

On August 11, 2016, during the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha passed the Maternity Benefits Bill, 2016. The Bill extends maternity leave for women from 12 to 26 weeks, i.e. almost six months and also includes protecting their employment during maternity, among other things. Read our critical analysis of the Maternity Bill.

The Union Cabinet cleared the draft Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, banning commercial surrogacy in India. The bill does not include single parents, live-in partners and queer couples among others. Read our critical analysis of the Surrogacy Bill.

What We’re Reading

17% Rise in Section 377 Cases in A Year, 1347 Cases Filed in 2015 via Gaylaxy Magazine

Love in the Times of ‘Caste Killings‘ via Round Table India

In Response to Flavia Agnes and Natasha Badhwar by Shyamolie Singh

This Week in FII

What Brock Turner’s 3-Months Sentence Tells Us About White Male Entitlement

What Led To The Decline Of The Matrilineal Society In Kerala?

Menstruation And The Need For Inclusivity In The ‘Period Positive’ Movement

Universal Human Rights: The Interplay of Culture and Women’s Rights


Featured Image Credit: Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan

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