The Dichotomy between Women’s Rights and the Indian Personal Law System with Specific Reference to Hindu and Muslim Law​

Nandini Shenai
NMIMS School of Law, India.

Volume III, Issue VI, 2020

Personal laws in India are made by the legislature, directly or indirectly by taking their sources from customs. Women, for a long time, have been marginalised by these customs or practices. The purpose of law is to reform the social state, to open the society to newer and better ideas and practices. Discrimination of women around the world has been blatantly committed, and tolerated, even in its legal form. The Indian personal law system very visibly portrays a conflict between India’s international women’s rights commitments and their application in the country.

Keeping this history of personal laws in India as the backdrop, this paper aims to examine the interrelationship between rights of women in India and statutory family laws. This paper aims to weigh religion-based rights of women in India with rights offered to them internationally.  Through this paper, the author hopes to highlight the blatant discrimination faced by women of the Hindu and Muslim communities in India and aims to provide a legal analysis of the on-ground reality of the problems faced by women due to religion-based discrimination.

Keywords: Hindu personal law, Islamic law, customs, women, discrimination.