KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Women are not barred from speaking up or using the microphone at events as their voice is only considered as a form of “aurat” when performing prayers, Kelantan Mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad has said.
“Aurat” in Malay refers to “intimate body parts” that Muslims must cover with clothing; exposing these is considered sinful.
Responding to the a recent incident in Kelantan where event host Ameera Aida was stopped from hosting a children’s event by the Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB), Shukri said the setback could have been an administrative issue and not a question of fatwa.
“A woman’s voice is only an ‘aurat’ while performing her prayers, but beyond that, women are free to project their voice as long as it does not lead to defamation. Read more →
Muslim women’s group Sisters in Islam and Musawah noted that there is no progress towards implementing reform of Islamic family laws since 1995. ― Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — A coalition of 37 civil societies and global movement Musawah has reported a lack of urgency in Putrajaya when it comes to women’s rights, while both Muslims and non-Muslims have suffered from Islamisation.
Representatives of the group orally delivered a statement at the 69th session of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday evening.
Malaysia’s progress in women’s rights will be reviewed by the United Nations CEDAW committee only for the second time today, despite acceding to CEDAW in 1995. The last review was 12 years ago for its 2004 report.
Muslim women’s group Sisters in Islam and Musawah noted that there is no progress towards implementing reform of Islamic family laws since 1995, and Islamic family law has regressed even as civil law reform has resulted in more rights for non-Muslim women.
“Muslim women now enjoy far less [sic] rights in marriage, divorce, guardianship of their children and inheritance than their non-Muslim counterparts,” the coalition said. Read more →
Fadiah Nadwa Fikri speaks at a forum titled ‘Maqasid Shariah and Women’s Rights’ in Kuala Lumpur, April 10, 2016. — Pictures by Yusof Mat Isa
KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The root cause behind the oppression of Muslim women in Malaysia lies with patriarchy and how Islam has been used as a tool to control and oppress certain groups in society, panellists at a forum said last night.
In a forum titled “Maqasid Shariah and Women’s Rights”, Bersih 2.0 national representative Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said that Islam in Malaysia has been used in the past as a tool by men to maintain power over women.
Citing Islamist party PAS’s recent reminder to women of their supposed true “functions” as homemakers, the activists said that this was a classic example of how religion is used and interpreted to justify a system which oppresses women.
“This view reinforces patriarchy, it is a system that enables oppression to women.
“Then we have religious teachings that are taught by men and interpreted in their ways,” she told attendees at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here. Read more →
Stories of women who had to fight for the custody of their children after a divorce. Photo: The Star/Azman Ghani
Aida goes up against the legal system
Aida has been trying to get a divorce from her estranged husband for four years. She’d been abused throughout their marriage and to add insult to injury, he’d taken a second wife without her knowledge. Still, she has been unable to obtain a divorce.
“He refuses to talak and the judge is unwilling to step in even though I have multiple police reports documenting the abuse I have experienced. According to my husband, since I want a divorce I have to pay for it, literally, until he is ready to talak,” says the teacher who has raised her three children on her own for the past four years.
Aida’s husband has not fulfilled his duties as a husband and father, but he refuses to grant Aida her divorce out of spite, and because he knows the law favours him.
Muslim women face unequal rights when seeking a divorce. Unlike non-muslim women who have equal rights to marriage and divorce as men under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1967 (LRA), says Aliah Ali, communications officer for Sisters in Islam. Read more →