PERSONAL LAW DEBATES


Saheli’s work in crisis intervention brought to the fore many questions on the impact of religion on women, the discriminations inherent in all personal laws, the reality behind the secular state and the relevance of secularism and secular laws in the lives of women. In matters of divorce, guardianship, property, inheritance and other rights within the family, the rights of women were abridged by personal laws in myriad ways. Yet working towards an egalitarian civil code was not a straight-forward task in times marked by rising right wing Hindu revivalism, and growing majority/minority tensions. With debates and discussions, leaflets and the performance of a street play titled, Farq, we reached out to visibilise the issue and challenge the State and conservatives alike. But the Shah Bano controversy, the right-wing demand for a uniform civil code based on the Hindu law, the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the rise of communal parties - all brought new challenges and made it near impossible to further the debates on women’s rights of women with respect to personal laws. A situation furthered worsened by the State converting what is essentially an issue of equality for women into an issue of religious freedom and identity. Over the years, our engagement has been with both, efforts in the movement to reform personal laws as well as the continuing struggle for egalitarian rights for all women.


ARTICLES


Newsletter Sep 2011 – Apr 2012

LEGISLATIVE REFORMS IN HINDU SUCCESSION ACT
Newsletter Sep – Dec 2005


HINDU SUCCESSION AMENDMENT BILL: women's groups join to plug loopholes
Newsletter Jan-Apr 2005

THE STRANGLEHOLD OF STATE PATRIARCHY
Newsletter Mar 1997 


Enforcing Legal Rights in the Family 
Newsletter May 1988

Women and Law: Issues of Matrimonial Property
Newsletter Oct 1987
Newsletter Mar 1986

SAHELI IN WONDERLAND
Newsletter Mar 1986
 
Newsletter Jun 1984