Trend of migrant men divorcing wife on the rise

- Janak Nepal, Nepalgunj

Dec 24, 2014-

Over the past few years, the tendency of male Nepali migrant workers in the district divorcing their wives from abroad has become a cause of concern for all.

Kesharjahan Darji, 24, of Paraspur, Banke said she was elated when she received a letter sent by her husband who currently works in Malaysia. However, not even in her wildest imagination did she think that the letter would be a declaration of divorce by her husband. Married to a Muslim man named Salim of Betahani-3, five years ago, Darji had been subjected to physical and mental abuse regarding dowry for years. However, Darji had hoped that things would change following the return of her husband, who had flown to Malaysia as a migrant worker two years ago.

In addition to her woes, Darji’s marriage has not been registered or conducted as per their tradition. And making matters worse, Darji lacks a citizenship certificate, which deprives her right to lay claim on her husband’s property. She asked as to how she could go from one office to another when she was not even able to afford her medical expenses.

“Even the district court she went against the injustice has, citing lack of evidence of her marriage with Salim, advised her to reach an understanding with her husband,” Darji lamented.

While Darji is just one among thousands of women who have been victimised in this manner, the phenomenon has left many women and children in lurch. According to a study conducted by Nepal Muslim Women Welfare Society three years ago, there were 324 women in Banke alone who were facing a problem similar to the one faced by Darji. Meanwhile, advocate Bishwojeet Tiwari said that even though the court did not recognise the divorce papers, it can prove helpful in filing a writ petition.

“Only if the concerned had registered her marriage, justice could have been served with ease,” Tiwari said.

Meanwhile, Maulana Jia-ul Mustafa Nurani, headmaster of a Madrasa in Barkatiya, said, “One can marry up to four women in our community, but we do not allow for divorce without a firm reason.” He further said that it was time for the priests to stand up and fight to prevent the abominal crime of divorce.

“The Quran does not differentiate between men and women, giving equal rights to both to pursue education, lay claim on one’s inheritance, and right for re-marriages in case of widows. However, it allows for divorce only in case of the woman’s failure to conceive, is physically-disabled and reach a condition where the couple can no longer live under the same roof.

Published: 25-12-2014 09:08

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