Nepal: Women Being Divorced Without their Consent

At least 200 Muslim women from Debang VDC in Parsa district who were divorced without their consent recently urged the Prime Ministers Office and Cabinet and other ministries to probe the issue and bring the guilty to book.
They also sought relief measures for their children. The women argued that their husbands had forced them to take to the streets without any reason.
We dont have any means of livelihood and are not in a position to provide education to our children, they said. They urged the government bodies to punish those responsible for their plight. According to them, there are about 500 women who have been divorced in Dabang VDC alone. Similar pleas were also filed at the Ministries of Home and Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, and Women, Children and Social Welfare demanding a probe as well as relief measures.

However, the Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD), the organisation which is handling the case said no government institution has initiated action in favour of the victims so far. The FWLD accused the husbands of having plans of remarrying after their divorce. According to our study these men have no other plan than to marry again, said advocate Rup Narayan Shrestha of the FWLD. The FWLD revealed that it had conducted a week-long investigation and referred the case to the National Human Rights Commission, Home Ministry and Police Headquarters to take action and provide relief to the victims. Though the Muslim community has a provision where a man can divorce his wife by repeating the word Talak three times before their guardians yet it is illegal to do so under the current law, said Shrestha.

Source: Himalayan News Service, 18.11.04.