Featured image courtesy Maatram
This is the seventh in a series of videos conducted by sister publication Maatram, highlighting the difficulties faced by women under the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA).
Article 16 of the constitution states that existing written and unwritten laws, such as the MMDA, will continue in force even over constitutional law. There is currently a campaign for the reform of personal laws, with some calling for the repeal of Article 16 altogether.
Read English transcript below:
“My future husband’s family liked me, so we got married. At that time, I was 25 years old. My husband’s father knew how old I was – he had seen my NIC. However he didn’t tell my husband my age. At the time of registering our marriage, some people told my husband that I was too old for him, and asked him to send me away. At that time, my husband was 19 years old.
From the time of our wedding day, he would torture me saying I was too old. I could not live in peace. He would not talk to me. We didn’t live as a family. He threatened to burn me. Using my age as an excuse, he threw me out of the house. I filed a case in the Quazi courts. After not receiving a solution I filed a second case. To this day, I have not received any solution for my plight. This wedding happened against my wishes – if parents want to arrange marriage for their children, they should ask them if they want to get married in the first place. When they ignore this and force their children into marriage, they will end up having to go to court.
I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else. I have no brothers and sisters. If I did they would have been able to support me. For one and a half years, I have been going to the Quazi courts and back, but to this day, I have not received a solution, nor have I received any compensation.”