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Sri Lankan Muslim Women Demand Changes to Marriage Law

COLOMBO: A group of Muslim women on Monday stood in silent protest against the country’s Islamic marriage law which discriminates against women.

A group of Muslim women on Thursday protested against the country’s Islamic marriage law which discriminates against women.

Muslims Personal Law Reforms Action Group (MPLRG) held a rally in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, outside the Ministry of Justice.

Protesters urged Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale to recognise their right to “justice and equality”.

The group want the Ministry to update the status of a report on Islamic marriage that has been nine years in the making.

The Muslim Activists complain that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1956 contain “discriminatory and unfair provisions that affect Muslim women and girls.”

The law has no minimum age of marriage and provides for unconditional polygamy to men. It also includes unequal provisions and procedures for women to register marriage and divorce.

After decades of protest from Muslim women, the Ministry of Justice had formed a 17-member committee to review and amend the law in 2009.

However, no progress has been made so far.

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