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Published in the 16-30 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Seminar discusses issues affecting Muslim women

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

The Milli Gazette Online 

Ahmedabad: To create awareness among Muslim women, the Ahmedabad Muslim Women’s Association (AMWA) in association with Gujarat Masturat Seva and Mahila Patchwork Cooperative Society organised a seminar in February and discussed issues affecting Muslim women's lives as education, social and family harmony, health, family planning and orthodox customs. 
Prof. Munish Bushara, member AIMPLB and professor of Physics at Maharashtra College, observed that women in the community were facing identity crisis because of the biased attitude of male members of the community. It is not a burkha, but mindset of the community and its illiteracy that is hampering the progress of Muslim women. 

She said that Muslim women’s problems are social stigma, illiteracy and identity crisis. Identity crisis is one of the main problems of Muslim women. Though they are not as much suppressed today as they are supposed to be. There is a need to evolve an understanding among them through awareness.

She crticised media for giving undue prominence to talaq as only one percent of Muslim families face problems pertaining to divorce. Media has unnecessarily made talaq an issue but ignored basic problems of Muslim women. 

Education is the key to development. Literacy will help a woman realise her rights, and enable her to distinguish between good and evil elements in the society. It will also protect women from exploitation, said Prof. Bushara. 

She said that a woman enjoys freedom in burkha because it safeguards her from the evils rampant in the society. Girls are not safe in metros and cases of rapes and eve-teasing are reported now and then.

The glamour world of ads and movies is harming the Indian culture. The youth is attracted towards western culture which is nothing except vulgarity. 

"There are many misconceptions regarding the problems faced by Muslim women. We want to tell Muslim women about what are their real problems and suggest solutions", said AMWA president Mehrunnisa Desai.

We want to emphasise the need of nutritious food especially after delivering a baby and feel a need to promote education among Muslim boys also, she said.
The seminar also discussed women’s roles as a mother, wife, daughter and a mother-in-law.

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