Ehsaas appeals government to protect rights of half-widows
Srinagar, May 5: A consensus was evolved today on ‘remarriage’ and equal rights of destitute half-widows whose spouses have disappeared and whose whereabouts and status, whether alive or not, are not known.
Ehsaas, a policy group which has been working for rights of half-widows, after thorough deliberations with cross section of the society including Ulema’s, civil society groups, journalists and local rights bodies presented a memorandum to the state government to consider its recommendations vis-à-vis rights of half-widows.
“After discussing the issue of half-widows thoroughly with people from different walks of life, we came to the conclusion that such women need t0 be treated at par with widows keeping in view the basic tenets of Islam,” said Secretary of Ehsaas group, Ezabir Ali.
Ali said given despondent conditions of half-widows who don’t know as to whether their spouses are dead or alive, it was decided that they can consider remarriage and shapeup their life according to their own wishes and aspirations.
She said consensus was evolved broadly on the remarriage and equal right of a half-widow which was duly agreed upon by Ulema’s.
“We discussed the issues confronting half-widows under the light of Islam. We observed that after completing the period of iddat a divorcee or a widow is free to remarry while as half-widow shall marry after four years,” she added.
She said the group in this regard met various political and apolitical parties to seek their suggestions with regards to the rights of half-widows.
“We met leaders of ruling and opposition parties who assured that they will play their part. We also presented a memorandum to the government to bring in fresh legislation after considering the recommendations,” Ali said.
The memorandum urge the state government to address different aspects of the lives of half-widows and half orphans which include whereabouts and return of disappeared persons, marital status of half-widows, property rights of half-orphans and half-widows, payment of reparation to them and their family members, introduction of trauma centric medical assistance and legislation on enforced disappearances.
“We want the government to provide them with all benefits like that of widows. Their trauma is that when they go to any government office for any assistance they are asked to get the death certificate of their spouses which is extraneous,” said Ehsaas Secretary.
She said that the government should bring them under various schemes meant for destitute so that they could also avail the benefits out of that.