Mainstreaming the Indian Muslim Women –
The Way Forward

Organized by

Centre for Women’s Studies
Maulana Azad National Urdu University –Hyderabad

In collaboration with
National Commission for Women New Delhi

Edited by
Dr. Ameena Tahseen
Director, CWS, MANUU


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
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Keynote Address




Address by Guest of Honor




Address by Chief Guest




Presidential Address




Inclusion of Madrasa Girls in Mainstream
Education System -Problems & Prospects



Religious Fundamentalism and Muslim Women’s
Struggle for Gender Justice





In Search of A Space: The Indian Muslim Woman


Economic Empowerment of Excluded Muslim
Women through Islamic Micro Finance: A Case
of Hyderabad



RASIA NAYEEM HASHMI 5 . RUQIA TASKEEN 20 Evolving Role of Women in Muslim Societies 139 MS.1 2 12 Contract Marriages – A study in Hyderabad 93 DR. FARIDA HUSSAIN 14 Empowerment of Muslim Women in India MS. 21 Role of Media in Empowerment of Muslim Women 143 MS. NAJAMUS SAHER 13 Mainstreaming the Indian Muslim Women – The Way Forward. DILNAZ BAIG 17 Mainstreaming of the Indian Muslim Women A Grass Root Level Perspective 124 MS. 97 MS. SHABANA KESAR 15 Girl Students of Deeni Madaris and their Role in the Mainstream Development Process 104 114 DR. RAFAT SEEMA 16 Mainstreaming of the Indian Muslim Women – Few Suggestions 121 Ms. QAMAR JAMALI. KANEEZ FATIMA. RUBINA NAFEES FATIMA 18 Empowerment of Muslim Women Education & Training 127 MS. 19 Dropout of Muslim Girls – Reasons & Remedies (A study with reference to School Education in 134 Hyderabad) MS.

She has been always a source of immense support for me. to shoulder the responsibilities of Centre for Women’s Studies. Shahid. Member NCW. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the resource persons & paper presenters for their cooperation rendered on me. Mohammed Miyan. New Delhi on 24-02-2015. (Professor. Lalitha Kumaramangalam for her valuable presence as Chief Guest of the programme. Fatima Alikhan (Former Head. I place on record my gratitude to Hon’ble Chairperson. I take this opportunity to record my gratitude to Prof. OU) for her remarkable participation to chair the programme and enlightening the audience with her presidential address. Vice-Chancellor I/c. Abul Kalam Azad Chair-MANUU) for her thoughtful key note address. Shamina Shafeeq. CWS. of Geography.Acknowledgements It is my prime duty to place on record my sincere thanks for the faith bestowed on me by Prof. for her great efforts to organize the colloquium and to grace the occasion by participating as a Guest of Honour. Former ViceChancellor. I acknowledge her support with deep sense of gratitude. Smt. MANUU. as a first activity after taking the charge of director of the Centre. & Director. 6 . I acknowledge with appreciation the whole-hearted cooperation and association extended by the National Commission for Women to conduct the Colloquium. I am also indebted to Prof. NCW. Dept. MANUU. Amina Kishore. MANUU and Prof. I acknowledge their immense support with a deep sense of gratitude to organize the Colloquium on “Mainstreaming the Indian Muslim Women – The Way Forward” in collaboration with the National Commission for Women. Khwaja M. and also I am indebted to Ms.

Without their active participation & support it would have not been possible to conduct the Colloquium and to bring out the papers in the compiled form. (Associate Professor. Gulfishaan Habeeb. English. Ameena Tahseen Director. CWS. DDE. My special thanks to Dr. Dr. I want to thank my supporting staff for their cooperation in organizing the programme and bringing out this proceedings. MANUU) for her great support in editing the text. MANUU 7 .

no doubt that a number of laws and organizations are in place to work for the welfare of women. It is very important for self-respect and redemption of the status of women that they should be provided as good education as is provided to men. It will be heartening to note that wherever women entered in to any profession on the basis of their education. sister. There is.Foreword It is a well accepted fact that Women in general. These efforts might have contributed in some improvements. I very strongly subscribe that a woman with economic and financial strength will occupy a high position in the society which she deserves. which is historically male dominated. more important to change the mindset of the men and also women wherever necessary. Whether it is social status or violence or remuneration for the services rendered or sexual harassment. they have out-performed the men. honourable and safe place to its women folk. it is a daunting task to make people understand the importance of due respect and status to women. daughter or in any other capacity. discussions and debates to address this issue. particularly in India. the women are at the receiving end. The educated women will not only contribute to the knowledge base of the society but will also economically enrich it. In a society. A society cannot claim to be civilized or progressive unless it provides a respectful. It is. skills and knowledge. The crisis of values in present day societies can also be taken care of by an educated and respected woman as a mother. wife. 8 . however. are not treated well by the society. but a lot more is still desired to be done. There have been a number of researches. She has to be given a befitting status independent of her relationship to the men folk. It reiterates the importance of education for women.

MANUU 9 . The need is to tell the society to respect the women and treat them with equality. houses. I am glad that the papers received on the topic are being printed in the form of a book. but same will be true to the women of other groups. No doubt there can be certain specific issues to Indian Muslim Women. The message of the Colloquium is required to be taken forward. (Prof. This book is a right step in the right direction. offices. The Colloquium on "Mainstreaming the Indian Muslim Women – The way forward" has aptly discussed the issues related to women and found a way forward. But the need is to travel much beyond the book to enlighten the men and women of the street.I feel that Indian Muslim Women are also facing all those challenges which are being faced by women from other socio-religious and cultural groups. Shahid) Vice-Chancellor I/c. Khwaja M. academic institutions etc.

Kerala etc. (About my own last point I am going to contradict myself a little bit but to that later. A meaningful triangular partnership is visible today: The academics are sitting together with the governmental agency and the field specialists at one table. 10 . Mrs Kumaramangalam. In spite of what appeared like a renascence we see that no path breaking changes have occurred. Our analyses are the same. MANUU aminak@rediffmail. I wish the organizers had also included a representative of the Ulema so that the discussion of the issues pertaining to the Indian Muslimah could be Prof Fatima Ali Khan. There is a stasis in the whole matter. In the first decade of the 21st century commentaries by social critics like Zarina Bhatty.Key Note Address Prof. Amina Kishore Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Chair. Islamist feminist groups were seen emerging in Mumbai. In spite of constantly evolving theorizing about Human Rights and gender justice. Mrs Shamina Shafiq and Dr. In late 20th century historians like Gail Minault and Barbara Metcalf had referred to the new stirrings in Indian society to redefine the Indian Muslim Women’s image. Amena Tahseen Congratulations. The topic and the event are both so timely and the wording is apt. Asghar Ali Engineer and Tahera Aftab emphasized the need for interventions on behalf of the Indian Muslim Woman. there is very little serious Islamic gender discourse. In the discussion of gender issue it is such partnership that is efficacious and mutually facilitating.) I shall start with two critical observations.

In my opinion the Indian Muslim woman 11 . Let me spell out the stereotypes as I perceive them.Our arguments continue to border on the dismal and the stereotypes persist. the wearer of Hijab. etc. It is the habit of the Western feminist groups to perceive the Indian Muslim woman as a creature of monolithic oppression. Every religion has enabling and disabling factors related to gender. The story of the marginalization of the Indian Muslim Woman is the story of marginalization within the marginalized groups. Looking at Islam and the Islamic gender statement as an obstacle to women’s rights is a very limited perspective. a bearer of many children. class. The perceptions of one religionist about the other is always limited by ignorance of the inside story. Islamist Feminists tend to believe that the Muslim Woman’s backwardness is primarily due to the patriarchal interpretation of the Islamic text. a slave to husband’s vagrancy. It is important to look into the social economic and political factors and find solutions for the issues that trouble this doubly marginalized group. Whenever the problem of the backwardness of Muslim Women has been analyzed it has been seen against the backdrop of Islam. This view neglects to see the many other shades and types of victimization. I do not agree with the theory that the marginalization of the Indian Muslim Woman comes exclusively from within. caste and numbers etc. I also do not subscribe to the view that the Muslim woman is a voiceless victim solely of patriarchal highhandedness. Mostly the Indian Muslim Woman is represented in a onedimensional light. Once this becomes a predetermined supposition the society outside of Islam feels free of any responsibility whatsoever and it is decided that all problems will be solved if the corrective comes from within.

We must speak in terms of 12 . Scripture. It is a good reminder to move on and stopping flogging dead horses. We need “to look at all causes of deprivation. No society and no religion can deny the right mindedness of these demands. When there is a perceived obstacle to these basic needs and when the woman’s right to dignified existence comes under fire that is the moment where the woman needs the helping hand of the other. Today we are speaking of mainstreaming the Indian Muslim Women. though with some additional disempowering factors.carries with herself many more layers of meaningful identities. As Amartya Sen has said in an article he wrote in 1999 the case of the Muslim woman in India is one of “accumulated disadvantages”. custom and tradition all have to be adjusted and amended if need be to establish justice and equality. A blanket view of the Muslim community will not give us the true picture Actually the Muslim woman’s story is no different from the story of the non-Muslim woman in India. The portrayal of a pitiful creature the Muslim woman caught within a barbaric misogynist male dominated world is a construct of the colonizing west. rather than concentrate on one”. The idiom has to change from one of closed arguments and blaming a perceived agent of the ailment. The organizers of this event have added an expanding phrase to the theme: the way forward. What are the demands that any woman may make to achieve empowerment and to arrive at the mainstream? Access to Health Access to Education Right to Practice their own Religion Protection under the law of the country These demands are demands of what we may term as everyday Feminism. Law.

Institutions must allow space to women and consciously take steps to prevent overmasculinisation of the system. There are three main results of education. What is important is that education should seep into the social consciousness of both men and women. we have to chalk out a follow up plan and implement it. A woman police officer was recently heard saying she does not like to take late evening duties because women are not safe on the roads after dark!! Social consciousness should change. education gives us knowledge—knowledge of the Self and of the other. The Indian Muslim Woman needs to be empowered as a Woman first and then given some special attention to her specificity of being a Muslim woman. Mainstreaming the Indian Muslim woman does not simply mean increase the numbers of women in the system and creating a visibility of participation in public enterprises. More than this. One sees it happening already with women in India. It is a builder of personality and a provider of livelihood. We have always said the Education is a strong weapon. 13 . Aberrations should not become acceptable as norms. This is necessary because there is a frightening possibility of the oft repeated formula of “poor oppressed Muslim Woman” becoming a psychologically accepted reality and the women may get habituated to the self image of “passive victim”. Her community identity should in no way be a retarding factor in any consideration.positive action. I'm afraid we have let that become a mere slogan. Education should be respected for what it is. Beyond that. Her difference must be honoured and her equality must be assured on all counts.

You can also run awareness programs for creating awareness about existing Governmental schemes for women. I trust that the Center for Women’s Studies and Department of women Education can come forward for working out such schemes. Parallel education is a means of adding that necessary edge to education. In the last three decades or so. Apart from this Social attitudinal changes are also needed. This done. with greater care taken to encourage Muslim women with an eye to the ground reality. legal remedies. SHGs. Islamic banking etc.whether of the institutionalized religions or the social systems. It is for the male counterparts to accord the dignity and equality to women which the Islamic text already provides. I stand by the belief that out there are many learned Muslim men. The woman in Islam occupies a place of dignity. Ulemas. These are enabling and quality enhancing moves. Their presence in the English language media has been a major means of mainstreaming the issues of Muslim women. and Muslim organizations who see the need to repair the obsolete patterns of exclusivity and indifference towards women.Institutions like MANUU should add an edge to the formal education program and start vocational education facilities for women. there has been a growth in the number of Muslim women activist groups who are operating in various spheres of Women’s issues. If the partnership of institution and field activist continues I am sure that true mainstreaming will take place. true mainstreaming becomes possible. Another healthy aspect of this emergence of the Muslim woman activism is that much of it is emerging from the grass root non-elitist sphere. with governmental policies and education filling the rest of the gaps. 14 . Intelligently these groups are working in the field and spreading awareness without taking up any cudgels with the system.

THANK YOU. Indifference and insensitivity towards gender-respect allows men in high & low places to use language carelessly. women will retire into the shell of silence. I hope some of you will raise a voice in the course of the day about this new weapon of silencing the women a language of abuse and indignity. The modern day idiom is on a downslide. Indian Society is reeling under the onslaught of prurient sexuality and the licentiousness of the tongue.What yet needs to be done is to hold dialogues across the gender divides. 15 . All said and done. after 60 years of independence. Unless women mainstream themselves and take up positive leadership this loosening of the cultural fabric of the society will not be prevented. Discomfited. hurt and embarrassed. after a 20 years' war against gender bias.

Address Ms. Shamina Shafiq Member NCW. New Delh 16 .

Therefore. Unless we understand the issues we cannot address the problems. many important issues came up before us. Most of us know the problems because women’s problems are universal irrespective of whether she is living on a mountain or whether she is living on a plain or whether she is living in a desert. why are we talking about mainstreaming? We are not only talking about the mainstreaming of Muslim women: we are talking about Dalit women. Yet because of religious identity or their geographical identities the solutions might be different. we are talking about all marginalized sections of the society.It is important to understand the reason for discussing about mainstreaming Muslim Women and the issues affecting them. NCW is not about the “Muslim women” or “Hindu women” or “Sikh women” or “Christian women”: it is about Indian women. But when she went to a police station to book a complaint against him. they are Dalit women. Unless the other people of the country understand the problems or issues related to shariah or Islamic issues or personal law issues. One woman told me that her husband had remarried and thrown her out of the house along with four children. But we also need to understand that Indian women are not just Indian women: they are tribal women. there are so many other categories in which women are already divided and already are living in. NCW is not only talking about the mainstreaming Muslim women. This is the problem at the grass root. whether she is Muslim or Hindu the problems are universal. After this 17 . So we have to look into solutions and that is why perhaps to the best of my understanding we are here today. the Police Officer told her that he cannot do anything for her because this practice is common in the Muslim community. When I came to Hyderabad last time and visited the women of the Old City. how will they address the issues concerning Muslim women? The other thing is. their situations are different and to understand those situations is very important. As we are here in this University we thought we would be talking about Muslim women.

There are some best practices. We know when it comes to (the erstwhile) Andhra Pradesh. It is a series of six dialogues in two months across different states.also. We could not found a single organization. we know categorically that we are going to get some good results in terms of best practices. I don’t find many NGOs who are working especially towards the cause of Minority women be it Sikh women or be it Jain women. So it not just about one community. there are very good organizations. In Kerala. When we talk about the South there is a lot of seriousness. Can we share those practices and save time in reinventing the wheel? When we look towards the South. We have to mainstream women living in those communities. 18 . it is about several other communities and women living in those communities. there are organizations that are working in a very good functional manner as far the Muslim women are concerned. When the Expert Committee of the Minority Women searched for NGOs working on Jains not even a single organization came forward which said that it had worked for the women belonging to the Jain community. It is not just one dialogue that NCW has initiated. all the speakers and anybody for that matter in this house. We are trying to come out with solid recommendations and best practices which can then be taken on to the right platform. the dialogue is not going to end. I request all the eminent panelists. if you have solutions place them before us.

then your community. our neighbourhood in terms of empowering and mentoring. it is our duty to ensure that all the programmes and policies of the Government of India and of the state governments reach out to the last person in the queue. 19 . For that we need to have collaborative effort and ensure that we do hand holding by ourselves first and share it across so that more people are inspired.It is time to Act and as a Muslim woman. to the NGOs. We need to have solutions and solutions could not be restricted only to the government but also to the civil society. We need to take the first step. We need awareness about and access to the various schemes and programmes. I personally advocate ISR − Individual Social Responsibility. As a responsible member of NCW. When we are talking about CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility.e. our extended family. The Constitution of India has given us equal rights. As responsible Indians. and to the activists. I feel it is my duty to ensure that this gap is filled. then your neighbours. I feel strongly that there is a huge gap which needs to be filled. first take care of your family. not as a member of NCW. If we just start working in our family. we are also doing what Islam preaches i. It is now time to talk about Individual Social Responsibility.

Indian women don’t get the nutrition that they deserve. Lalitha Kumaramangalam Chairperson. The problems of women are similar across communities. Also they own less than 10% of property again throughout the world. India is no different.Address Smt. In India they don’t get recognition that they work as hard or harder than most of the men in this country whether it is in the north-east. it’s not any religion that marginalizes women. We have been talking about the problems of women across communities. Across the world it is in the practice of the religion that mistakes happen and that is a human fault. New Delhi. Internationally the figure is that the women do about 70% of the work and they get hardly 1% of salary earned internationally. 20 . There is no financial value put on the amount of work that women do. In India women don’t get educated as much that they should be. The problem of the non-inclusion of women is that women are not included in many aspects of life that they should be included in whether it is education or nutrition. across the countries. across the religions and it does not make any difference whether one is Hindu or Muslim or Christian or whether you live in India or you live in Australia or you live in the Middle East or anywhere else. whether it is in the south. Women have very similar problems. whether it is in the east of India. NCW. Again there are mistakes in practices of every religion.

When you educate a woman or you allow a woman to come forward and to grow according to her own opportunity etc. We have forgotten to teach our boys and girls that they must mutually respect each other. I am not saying merely as mothers. Where there is lack of respect. 21 . We must also learn to make ourselves important. Actually what we are here for today is to address the gender imbalance of Muslim women. it is this biology that makes us so strong. But the point is that. Men and women can never be equal: no two human beings are equal. Every religion talks about values and about the same values integrity. Gender imbalance exists across the world. But unfortunately today our school system has forgotten to teach these things to our children. when we talk about women we automatically talk first of the problems they face. it is this biology on the basis of which life continues on this earth. Again that has nothing to do with religion or even gender. some will be less than others.All I am saying is all women deserve equal opportunities. talent and to be able to tell the truth. Some will be better than others. there are always problems that we face like the problem of violence against women. Why don’t we talk about the talent that they have? Women are intrinsically talented − one of the first speakers today spoke about the biology of a woman that holds her back some times. Every school should have value education because unconsciously we observe things from schools. or sisters or friends or even as educators but also as women. Perhaps this is the mistake that all women make. honesty.. we are the least important people for ourselves. you don’t just allow the woman to grow. We must recognize it is that biology that makes us mother. mutual respect. you allow her whole family to grow. We do not teach our boys and girls to work together as a unit and that is a lot of damage to our country. Women are naturally inclusive: it is almost part of our genes. For us.

There are some solutions that have to be offered to use specially how to include Muslim women in ICT skill. is universal. However. We can use that for inclusion. she is still raped. unfortunately. 22 . Here as the head of the commission I am supposed to address the problems of women specially the problems of violence against women. That is probably the only place where it doesn’t make any difference if you are a rich or a poor family or a middle class family. it is almost impossible to be empowered. Even men who are not employable are normally disempowered compared to other men from our own country. Employability is very poor and unless you have economic independence or at least you are able to stand on your own feet. Women are less empowered than them because women traditionally have not left their homes to come out and look for work. she has to still live with that for the rest of her life. Since we are standing in Urdu University we are talking specially about the problems of Muslim women. there are also religious lines that are drawn in every community. now a days has a mobile phone. You know when a women is raped it doesn’t matter what religion she belongs to. it doesn’t matter across caste. Again it does not matter if you are a man or a woman.Violence against women. for example. that is in information and communication technology skill. most of the problems are identical to the women that we work with. class even the economical divide. There are programmes now developed by the Indian Government which include huge programmes of skill. But from everything I heard. Every woman regardless of age. It doesn’t matter in what religion you are born into. a women still gets bashed up and this is something you must talk across the table. We can use that for skill development.

We have to come up with specific solutions for women like that. please send me solutions because that is what I can take forward. It is all about justice to all and the best form of justice is empowerment. This is what everybody must understand. They have to be skilled so that they can stand on their own feet. How do we get that? How do we achieve that? We need solutions and women have to be included in mainstreaming. Every woman must have a chance to grow into her own potential. They must have equal access especially in education. All of you who presented papers. 23 . They should have the confidence to be able to ask for what they think is their right. They have to have the skill to be able to put that right to good use to transform the opportunities they have been given by empowerment. nutrition and finance. Historically. We need to bring men on board. Ultimately women should have equal access and equal opportunity − these are the two important points. the country will lag behind. It’s not just Muslim women: we started with you but I am starting to talk with Christian women also. they need social and family support etc. they have not been given educational opportunities. If women are left behind. but men must also be equal partners. Both men and women must take equal responsibility. That is what I want really out of this meeting. which is also why we decided that we have to talk with the members of the minorities communities. Every one of us has the capacity to come up with some idea or the other which can be a solution. the time has come also to start looking at solutions to our problems. the women’s movements have left men out and that has created a lot of problems today. Instead of merely looking at our problems. Everybody more or less know women face violence.

Presidential Address
Prof. Fatima Alikhan
Former HOD
Dept. of Geography, OU
I personally congratulate the Organizers, Centre for Women’s
Studies, MANUU and National Commission for Women for conducting
this Colloquium on such an important topic.
In today's discussion a lot of points have been raised, and I hope that
the organizers would make a summary of some of the issues and
document it because these were important issues. One thing which has
been said many times is that, these issues are universal to women across
the world. But then there are also some specific issues within each
religious community. Every religion has given rights to women. Islam
there is no disputing, has given many more rights to women than to men,
but then we have to introspect as to what happened with Muslim women,
what happened that we are considered to be oppressive to our women.
Somewhere along the line these wonderful ideas that were propagated by
Islam have been subverted, hijacked, whatever you want to say. So we
need to look within the community. There are issues that need to be
addressed within the community. There are issues that need to be
addressed by civil society, there are issues that need to be addressed by
the Government.


In today's discussion we have solid support from National
Commission for Women, and it seems a very strong commission to work
on Women Issues. I am very happy to see that, the members of the
commission are here to listen about Muslim Women and looking for the
strategies for the upliftment of Muslim Women. We hope that something
will change.
I have one suggestion, which I have been saying constantly, it is that,
women and men really need to understand why the situation is like this. It
means that there has to be some Gender Sensitization programmes, and
this perhaps needs to be built into our School Education. I find that the
component for Social Studies has been declining. We had History and
Geography as independent subjects. Now they are one fourth of one paper
in school and within that paper Curriculum Developer or Educationist
keeps putting various things. Now I think we need to also put one
component either call it “Human Rights” which the AP Govt. has already
done and “Women’s Rights” can come under that. But we also need to
have something related to Gender Sensitization. Unless we do that most
of the women may not recognize that they are not getting a fair deal.
Most of the women do not understand when they are being exploited. I
was also a part of a cell which looked into schools “Gender Violence”
etc, and it’s not just the students, it was the women staff of the school,
they were also exploited. So we need to have Gender Sensitization
contents into our curriculum .So that at least that terminology gets into
our system and then once somebody is given an idea they begin exploring
it themselves and then women can take it up throughout their life.

Exploitation of women has increased across the world, even the
most developed countries has not given a fair due to their women. UNDP
has got a Gender development index which throws up various interesting
things: the more developed countries sometimes are not but a small
country like Jamaica has empowered its women much more. So we need
to take lessons about how these countries have gone about it, and each
community has to be taught that this can be achieved.
There is going to be resistance because, whenever we talk of
equality, somebody has to give in and concede something for somebody
else to get something. There is going to be resistance at all levels but this
needs to be done.
Once again I would like to congratulate, the organizers for giving this
opportunity to discuss on issues of Muslim Women. I congratulate to all
the participants for their deliberations and discussions.
Hope this exercise may find out the way forward at every level.


1 Muslims declared as Backward community in India . have proclaimed the startling Socio-Economic and educational status of Muslims. the position is extremely deprived.Problems & Prospects Dr.59. educational status of Indian Muslims that.The Muslim women education in particular. the literacy rate among Muslims is.1% in 2001. whether in terms of primary level or higher education level. represent more than 14% of the total population. Centre for Women’s Studies MANUU. is to its acute conditions. It’s been derived from the numerical percentages regarding. amtahseen123@yahoo. 2 According to “Sachchar Committee Report”.1% and others with ( SRCs)70. Research carried out by the social scientists in previous years. compared to other ccommunities. “Muslims lie backward at the extreme margin in all aspects of life (Socio-Economic and educational as well) Muslims. the pass-out percentage of Matriculation is 26%(17 years or above) . For example. Muslims are even far backward than the scheduled caste and scheduled tribes in many aspects. being a minority in India. 3 A result executed in various reports vividly indicates the Gender Gap in educational status of Muslims. from primary to higher education level. 27 . The facts shown in those particular researches are that Muslim community is trailing behind. In all other communities of India. as compared to other minorities in India. Ameena Tahseen Director.Inclusion of Madrasa Girls in Mainstream Education System . whereas Muslims carry the figure with 17%. It was far below the National average with 65.

the prospect for the completion of School education has increased in all the castes. who were active and dynamic participants in all the aspects of life at the onset of independence. This attitude has increased even in Muslims. the only Muslim community. But Muslims are still backward than SC(s) /ST(s). It portrays that.Difference has been much increased in terms of Birth Place and Gender……. could not framed the equality between Muslims and other Communities . An interesting fact is that. Many special measures adopted by the Government of India to promote Women education. and slowly reached to the extreme margin. educational process can be continued. where as Muslims hold 26%. backward classes. different castes. “Provisions and Expanded opportunities for the promotion of education after Independence. As an essence of this process. as the time passed…. remained deprived. from upper primary level to college education.”4 28 . exclusive difference can be seen in Muslim women of urban areas. deprived and excluded communities. Whereas. This difference has been raised between Muslims and other communities. From 1983 to 2000.Efforts towards the educational Development in colonial India were initiated in the beginning of nineteenth century. Particularly Women of this community have descended to lowest pitch. If Muslim students surpass this obstacle. According to the report. Muslims perform little better than SC(s) and ST(s). primary Eeducation is an obstacle for School education. But. Observations made by Sachchar committee are gaining attention in this regard. Ratio of SC/ST students completing upper primary education is 23%. creeds. have been indulged in the mainstream of education and Development. the “Modern education System” has been properly designed and executed after the independence only.The process of this transition started in the decade of 1960.

trend towards establishment of Deeni Madrasas in Muslim community. Therefore we find thousands of Deeni Madrasas established in previous decades. but at the other side. If we pay an skimming eye. 29 . but after independence Madrasas (Including Maktabs and Jamiyats) became an important source of education for many Muslims. numerous Deeni Madrasas have been established across the country for education of Muslim Girls in previous decades. The fact is that. These Madrasas offered various courses from basic Islamic education to higher Islamic studies.5 Specifically the most preferable education for Muslim girls is the Madrasa education. These Madrasas are providing educational facilities and accommodation. As far as establishment of Deeni Madrasas for girls is concerned. Madrasa education system exist in India since a long time. During 1960’s or 1970’s the gap increased in terms of educational status of Muslims compare to other communities at one side. mostly because of their low Socio-economic condition. we can say that. Although. Deeni Madrasas are the prominent centers of education for economically backward Muslim Students. a major part of Muslim population still prefers to educate their children in Urdu Medium Schools or in Madrasas.A midst this backdrop another attention grasping reality is that. hiked very much. especially to deprived majority of Muslim community.

8 3.4 18. 30 . 1998-99. Mumbai. Infact Muslim women of that period were admirably equivalent to their contemporary in every field.9 38.2 5.3 6. Educational status of Muslim women of that period was comparatively equivalent to other women of India .0 100.1 22.6 But today.8 44. Even we can see an identical difference between Muslim Women and other minority women and backward classes.0 Primary Complete Middle Complete Source: National Family Health Survey.0 100. even the percentage of literate girls was not less than other girls of India.0 2.3 13.1 9. the aggregate of Educated Muslim girls was greater than the overall Indian Educated girls.7 13.8 14.3 60.2 School 13.5 7.4 23. 11Ps.5 16.8 High School Complete 7.0 Higher Secondary 6.9 2. At every level of education the enrollment of Muslim Girls is comparatively lesser than Girls of any other community.0 100.3 5.5 10.6 14.8 30.4 9.5 School 8. the percentage of Muslims was better than other communities.6 16.1 13. in the educational field. revealed total different facts regarding the educational position of the Muslim Women.4 7.Muslim Women Education The reports on the education.9 6.0 14.5 32.0 100.5 15.9 4.0 100.2 8.6 14.0 100. It’s been manifested in the memorandum of progress of education in British India (1916-1926) that.4 8.6 8.1 Complete and above 100.8 6.5 3. Either their literacy percentage or educational status. 7 Educational Levels Among Social Groups Level of Education Women Belonging to Different Social Groups Hindu Illiterate Literate Muslim Christian Sikh Jain Buddhist Other 59. In 1937.7 70. the image of Indian Muslim Women has changed drastically. published before independence of India.

There fore the difference increases as compared to others. It shows that. 9 Muslim women in urban India are much worse off than rural counterparts. even if admitted. A kind of inferiority complex emerged in Muslim 31 .56% whereas. 8 At middle to senior secondary or graduation level. the emergence of communal ideologies in the society or behavior at political level after independence. the percentage of Muslim girls seen lesser then Hindu and Christian girls. not only in terms of their overall educational status as citizens of India. This trend is all the more alarming when this situation is compared to the advances in Muslim female education achieved at the turn of the century. but also in terms of their relatively poor educational status when compared to Hindu or Christian women. 10 Although various measures adopted for the education and development of Indian women after independence. which creates complete insecure atmosphere in every sphere of life for Muslims. the first and an important dimension which come into picture is. but the facts and figures are showing that.25%. If we analyze the factors with different angles. the percentage of scheduled caste women is 4. A although this cannot be said. In rural areas girls are not systematically admitted in the schools. The reasons behind the deprived and marginalized status of Indian Muslim women are Multi-Dimensional. the affirmative action’s does not approached properly to every community in general and to the Muslim community in particular. Most of the Muslim girls even can’t pursue their school education completely to reach the higher level. when rural areas are taken into consideration.As far as primary education is concerned. they discontinued their schooling. This difference enhances as the level of education increases. The percentage of Muslim Girls in higher education is 3. the percentage of Muslim girls is not so lesser than Hindu and Christian girls.

Another important reason also to be discussed is that. Specially this insecurity and inferiority. the specific religious and cultural constraint also affects the Girls education. They accept secondary position in the family and society by considering themselves to bound and to follow the exhausting practices is mandatory. Other than these general problems. According to the studies. regarding educational backwardness of Muslim women in rural and urban areas. Due to the insecure & inferior feeling Muslims started Isolate themselves from the mainstream of Education & Development. both in rural or urban areas. customary laws. As a result of all these factors. is against the teaching of Islam regarding the rights and provisions given to Muslim women at large. high poverty. & Gender Concepts within the society changed the psychology of Muslim women as well. support and opportunities. We find a little difference in Urban areas. The reasons or constraints behind this are almost the same. we find the attitude of Indian Muslim community towards the female gender. but they are very few in numbers compare to their population in the cities. residential schools or hostels for girls. much exposure. domestic responsibilities. especially lack of effective teaching in Urdu medium schools etc. Cultural Fascism. concept of providing only religious education instead of modern or mainstream education. lack of 32 . in turn severely effects the education and development of Muslim Women. scarcity of women teachers in Schools or Colleges. Most of the social scientist discussed various reasons. the causes like conventional difficulties. Practice of Strict Purdah system. No doubt. early absence of Urdu medium school & colleges. that the Muslim girls are moving forward for higher and professional education. on appreciation to pursue education. The Socio-Political scenario. Muslim Women lay dwon in the background without education.

protection of sharia and Muslim women. which soared to discussions and movements for the protection of sharia. but it can be proclaimed that. even as the tendency reached its peak in the last 20 to 30 years. The facilities being provided by the Madrasa for the Muslim students of economically backward families. The perception of securing Muslim identity. The most prominent reasons behind this perception could be the “SHAH BANO Muqqadma” of the 1980’s. The incident drastically reverted the political and social scenario for Muslim women. Although we cannot compare Deeni Madrasa education system with “Modern /Mainstream education system”. Every year thousands of students are obtaining degrees and certificates after completion of studies in these Madrasas. gain vivid knowledge and information through these Madrasa. and ethical training centres of the Muslim population. Huge number of students including boys and girls. these Madrasas could be the secure place for them 33 .proper scholarships and increasing number of child labours. The BABRI Masjid fiasco was another turning point in making a move towards religious fundamentalism within the Muslim community and in the Other Indian Communities also. 11 Identification of the problem: Indian education system has been polarized in the long past with the concept of Deeni Madrasa education System. these Madrasa are the prominent source of Islamic education. and the rights of Muslim women as per sharia. cannot be overlooked. Establishment of Madrasa has been more widened in the previous 20 to 30 years. blocked the majority of Muslims to the tendency that. are few major obstacles that lie between the paths to move forward for the higher education. The concept of establishment of Madrasas for girls in the Muslim community was not so popular earlier. in densely Muslim populated areas.

It is arguable that. the most important point is to be focused is that. But the point of discussion is. and to develop their skills for compatibility with other higher / professional education system. and the enrolment of female students are increasing day by day. then why still Muslim women are trailing behind on the educational and Development fronts. the pathetic conditions remain absolutely worrying for both men and women in this scientific. thousands of students are still deprived and Unsuccessful in booming up their socio-economic conditions in the Indian society . As such these Madrasas are catering Islamic education as well as Modern education at least up to primary or secondary level. girls are to be admitted in these Madrasas. but to Educate them to a higher level like.They are unable to continue their education to move in a mainstream or higher educational peaks. Aalima. Hence.and to hold the possibility of intellectual training of a Muslim individual in Islamic perspective . Even after giving sufficient years in that particular education system. compared to the other women of the Nation? 34 . Fazila even up to Daktoora(Doctorate). when the Establishment of Madrasas for Girls.This changing conditions transformed the Muslim views and opinions to an extent that. Therefore the tendency increased to provide Islamic education for girls in Madrasa not only up to primary level. technological and highly paced developing era. whether this kind of education system is sufficient to enhance their life skills to live a decent or satisfactory life in India? In the context of discussions on previous pages. Especially for Girls/Women it reached to a drastic position. even after availing various certificates from the Madrasas education system.

But there is no centralized Board to supervise the functions of these Madrasas and to maintain a common curriculum equallent to the Degrees/certificate courses of secular education. These Madrasas are providing education from primary to higher level in Deeniyat or Islamiyat. The Sample was selected randomly. need to be addressed. and telephonic interviews. and to inquire about the Socio –Economic and cultural constraints of these girls to move forward for higher education.These Madrasa are very active in provision of Islamic education to Muslim Girls since several years. 35 . and their increasing tendency towards Madrasas education system for higher level degrees. effecting their progress to move forward in to Mainstream education. which includes both female teachers and students. The Basic objective of this study is to know about the perception of Muslim Girls. very few Madrasas are availing government aid (Aid given under SSA programme). Details of Study Method: Hyderabad is a hub of Deeni Madrasas. With these objectives.( those who are already in Madrasas education system)towards mainstream education system. Most of the Madrasas are unregistered. for both men and women. Data was collected by structured questionnaire.They are functioning on the charity or self help basis.In the background of educational status of Muslim women in India. few prominent Madrasas in Hyderabad were selected for the study. Out of these.But at the same time the constraints. catch the attention towards the bright dimension where the prospects of their educational Development is vibrant and hopeful . Good number of Madrasas are working for girls in the Hyderabad city .

from the age of five years to more than twenty five years. basically on “Dars-e.  Curriculum of these Madrasa (short term and long term) framed.Parents cannot bare the expenses of boarding or lodging.  Nearly about 80% enrolled students belongs to poor socioeconomic & educational background. Basic English. Number of such students is very high in the Aqamath Khana based Madrasas (Hostel Based Schools /Residential Madrasa). which includes the girls enrolled for primary classes to the Ccertificate/Degree courses.  There is a high rate of drop outs in this education system. social. they are helpless to pay even the lesser fees of Madrasas. They belong to lower income group. other subjects 36 . The curriculum has been amended to some extent.  Because of their Low Socio-Economic profile.The Management is taking care of all expenses of the hostels as well. The same reasons orbit around like. which has been already discussed on the previous pages. the management of these Madrasa has to manage the whole expenses.However few other books related to specific creeds included in the curriculum.Nizami” .ANALYSATION & OBSERVATIONS:  Strength in these Madrasa is about 1000 to 2000. economical and cultural problems. Therefore. Most of the parents are involved in private/petty jobs or vendors and daily wagers. Their parents are either illiterate or studied only up to primary or secondary level.They belongs to different age groups like.

Due to that. Their attention is very meager on overall educational development and evaluation of the students’ progress. as like the process followed in School education system. because of poor quality of education for subjects other than Islamiyat. the tendency towards Modern/Secular higher education have been generated in Madrasa girls.  Management of Few Madrasas are sincerely motivating the students to appear for the matriculation examination. Teaching of Modern subjects is carried out by the Vidya Volunteers. They have their own problems about the working regulations and the honorarium paid to them. their participation in 10th Class Examination is increasing Slowly every year. and the rate of success is also not up to the mark. Basic reasons for this.  Analysis manifests that. They are unable to adjust themselves either with the girls or with the system of Madrasa. the teachers who are imparting the teaching of different Modern/secular subjects are the part timers or contractual teachers. but no fruitful results are being achieved.  The pass out students of Madrasas.This type of curriculum followed only in few Madrasas. have the opportunity to continue higher education in “Oriental languages” (A degree course affiliated by Osmania University) or through Distance 37 .and computer proficiency also annexed with the syllabus.  Although such efforts are generating awareness in the girls towards the modern/secular education. appointed under SSA programme. But. very less students participate in the examination.

they can pursue their higher education only in subjects like Urdu or Arabic. To get the job in these “Secular Institutions. where the subjects like Arabic or Urdu languages being taught as a second language. impart home tuitions on a very less fee . female students of Deeni Madrasa are taking admissions in these programme. But number of girls coming forward in this manner is also very very limited. but these subjects does not stand equivalent or essential for 38 .these Madrasa students started diverting themselves towards the different mainstream courses and training. Modern subjects are included in few Deeni Madrasas. and few others.But fact is that very few get this opportunity. Since last few years.But the problem is that.where they completed their studies. the awareness towards the importance of Mainstream education and the need of Women Employment or acceptance of economic contribution by women in the family. the pass out girls have the opportunity to get the Employment in those schools or colleges. not in any other subjects of social or science Groups. usually Pass out girls are appointed in the same Madrasas for the further services. Degrees of modern education and Professional training stood essential.  The reality come in to light regarding the employability is that. and their higher education in oriental languages. It’s been derived through analysis that.  On the other side. is emerging slowly in the Muslim community.  The basic reason of this transformation pointed out by the teacher’s in the discussion is that.where they teach Quran and basic Islamic teachings to small girls.  Although.

every student and at every level of courses. which needs immediate attention. Its Distance Mode of education completed nearly seventeen years. The 39 . have been started 10 years back (2004). Still there are many Madrasa whose degree is not considered as equivalent to graduation. Whereas the admissions in Professional courses.  In all the above discussed courses. This is an important and attention seeking problem. Even the syllabus of Alima or Fazilah is also not stand equal to higher secondary or graduation standard framed by State government. They are taking admission only in subjects like. gets admission in various colleges or universities.  The discussed Problem. or Science Group subjects is not too impressive. Because of all these factors the proceeding of Madrasa students towards Mainstream or Higher education becomes very limited. very few students from Madrasa background takes admission for Higher or professional courses. the students from Madrasa. social sciences. Urdu. can be elaborate by taking an example of Maulana Azad National Urdu University. the Degrees of very few Deeni Madrasas of India have the status of “Equivalent to Graduation” and these degrees have acquittance. Madrasas of girls in Hyderabad city have the same problem. the inclusion of girls from Madrasa background remains acutely low in particular.This University provide a great opportunity for Urdu speaking community to continue their Higher education through Urdu Medium. based upon this.Conventional education with different subjects. Persian and Arabic or Islamic studies.  It is a fact that.Instead of this opportunity. Establishment of this University took place in 1998 by an act of Parliament.

but due to the limited opportunities. SocioEconomic and cultural constraints. and put forth the ambition of their inclusion in Higher education. achievement of Islamic education is enough for Duniya and Aqirath. as they want to move forward from Madrasa to Mainstream or Higher education.situation remains the same for any other higher educational institutions of the country. So that they can prove their abilities in various fields of Development. gender disparities within the family. Madrasas to Mainstream educational field. but they want to continue Modern education too. awareness towards Modern/Mainstream education have been generated Madrasas students. approximately 72% of students have proclaimed their views over the urgent need and importance of Higher education.  Although. the percentage of Muslim women working as an Urdu or Arabic teacher in different English and Urdu Medium schools is 40 . According to them it is not for any other purpose. stated that. parallel to Deeni Madrasa education for their Socio-Economic Development.  More than 80% of girls insisted for inclusion of Modern subjects in curriculum from the beginning of the courses.Only 28% of students.  Among the selected sample of Fifty Girls. they are unable to proceed from.  An important fact is also revealed in this survey is that. they have adopted this particular educational system to fulfill the ambitions of their parents.  83% of students revealed that.

there is a positive change emerging in the mindset of Indian Muslims to educate their girls to a higher level. create a sort of inferiority complex in them. A tendency also arise to involve in income generating activities for the upliftment of their families. 41 . They strongly recommend to include English and different subjects along with Madrasa syllabus at every level of study. they face various problems while working specially in the English Medium Schools. They are very ambitious to pursue their education to include themselves in mainstream development. One more issue discussed by the teachers is that.comparatively much lower than the Muslim male teachers.  After the complete analisation. economical and social development along with Deeni services.  Most of the Female teachers revealed that. In their views this may lead Muslim Girls to explore new ways to achieve educational. and they feel in-competent to participate in various activities of the institutions. non-proficiency in English and computers. This kind of transformation is more visible in the mindset of young generation. we can say that.In accordance to the conversation with some of the female teachers reveals that. Un awareness of modern technology. Whereas Male members easily get the opportunity to pursue their higher education or training compare to Women. lack of higher education and teacher training effecting them to secure jobs in this institutions. less knowledge of latest techniques of teaching methods. the limitations on the choice of jobs imposed by the family members are also a big constrain to move on in different areas of employment.

RECOMMENDATIONS: At the outset the result of this study shows an identical change in mindset of young generation Muslim girls. should be 42 . they are receiving very limited facilities by the SSA Programmes. the State. Their skills and ability must be developed to meet the challenges of the contemporary era.In terms of Madrasa Girls. Tutorials in Madrasas.  Law and order must be strengthened to eradicate the communal sensation and atmosphere so that. Muslim Girls/women get secured atmosphere and they can pursue their education easily.  It became necessary to change the traditional perception at large towards the education and development of women in Muslim community. for a better results. To promote this tendency. the Social and religious organizations and the educated & successful Muslim women should come forward to speed up the transformation process regarding women education. (where the number of students are more).  Other than General provisions. The Muslim community. special facilities must be provided to Muslim women as considered them “educationally and economically most deprived or backward community of India” . To promote the attitude which is been urged in the Muslim Girls towards importance of modern and higher education needs many more important interventions. As per the constitutional rights. the Muslim Women must get all the opportunities of education and development on par with other women belongs to different communities. It is not enough to promote or fulfil their desire towards Higher education or to include them in Mainstream education system. it is very necessary to take measures at various levels. made on the the basis of “Equality and Social Justice”.

women reflect the lack of confidence in completion of social and economic necessities. National and state Commission for Women and Ministry of Minority Affaire. This bridge course can be offered by AMU. Female students strongly recommended.  Bridge Course should be designed with the combination of Open School and Intermediate Syllabus. educational awareness programmes and Orientations should be included in the Madrasa curriculum.  As derived from the conversations and interviews made during the study.  Particular measures must be taken by department of women and child welfare. should be provided to Madrasa Girls by Central Government or State Government. Therefore a continuous personality development training. Establishment of more number of Urdu Medium Junior and Degree colleges and free accommodation in Girls Hostels. to include 43 . This kind of training and orientation activities may be adopted or sponsored by any national or state level organisations.established for the bridge courses and to prepare them for other parallel education.  Amendment in the curriculum of these Madrasa is unavoidably necessary. corporate sectors. Free Bus services. including Government agencies. for the educational Development of Muslim Girls. or social welfare institutes.  Free education at Graduation and post graduation level with skill development training. JMI & MANUU.

that they can play a vital role for the positive and successful transition of Muslim society.  As the Madrasa girls have minimal access to reach to the sources of information. demands the economic support of Muslim women in the family. In this context the economic contribution of Muslim Women gains much more importance.Because of poverty. therefore it is necessary to organize extension lectures and awareness programmes on importance and need of higher / professional education with all the available opportunities. This goal can only be achieved when Muslim girls receive Modern and Mainstream education along with the Islamic education. As all the research reports indicates the important reason for the deprived position of Muslims. The parents often stop the progress of girl child education. Present scenario of livelihood in India. Such activities must be included as a part of the curriculum. most of the Muslims prefer to give Professional / higher education to male child only. subject to the desire. requirement and conditions.So. including educational backwardness is the result of their low economic status.  It is a fact that.the modern subjects and to adopt new teaching methods and training of Madrasa teachers for the quality of education. But provide her “right to work”. 44 . Therefore it is the high time for Muslim Women to move forward for the employment or to adopt any Entrepreneurship programmes. Islam does not loaded any kind of economic burden or responsibility on Women.

Social. Voice of Voiceless “Social Status of Muslim women in India” – National Commission for Women – pp 24. Zoya Hassan & Ritu Menon – 2005. (Sachar Committee Report) 2006. Govt of India. & Report of the National Commission for religious & Linguistic Minorities – 2007. Govt of India.(2000). 4. Dr. pp 60-64. Zoya Hassan (2004) – Unequal Citizen in India – A Study of Muslim women. Economic and Educational Status of Muslim Community in India. Govt of India. 5. Social. pp 52. pp 26. 10. Economic and Educational Status of Muslim Community in India.P. Panday. 45 .Singh. S. New Delhi. Educational Empowerment of Muslim Girls – New Royal Book Company – Lucknow. Syeda Syedain Hameed . pp 56-57. Ministry of Minority Affairs. 8. 6. Gopal Singh Committee – 1983 – Ministry of Home affairs. 9. Economic and Educational status of Muslim community in India. “Educating Muslim Girls”pp 72. (Sachar Committee Report) – 2006. PP-155-157 2. Syeda Syedain Hameed . Minorities Rights Group international – UK. Voice of Voiceless “Social Status of Muslim women in India” – National Commission for Women – pp 24.References 1.(2000). 53. Social. Oxford University Press. 7. Seema Khazi – (1999) – Muslim Women in India. Ishtiaq Ahmed – (Ed).2007. AK. (Sachar Committee Report) – 2006. 3.

Voice of Voiceless “Social Status of Muslim women in India” – National Commission for Women – pp 46 . Syeda Syedain Hameed . Shahida Head. MANUU shahidamurtaza@rediffmail. Religious Fundamentalism & Muslim Women’s Struggle for Gender Justice Dr.(2000). Dept. of Women Education.

there is bound to be interpretational flaws making inroads. Be it marriage.the Prophet (saws).There is a huge gap between Islam and Muslim community. Especially when one looks at the status of Muslim woman. right over earning. for ages 47 . maintenance ( nan-nafaqua). abused. divorce (triple talaq) or maintenance. who have monopolized-both the ‘private’ and the ‘public’ domains alike. Misinterpretation. definitely not as envisaged by Allah. the contrast widens further. The impact is for everybody to see . they have been voicing their discontentment over the strong patriarchal overtures in the structure and implementation of family laws.such as denial of education. There is also an escalation in the realization of the actual provisions available under Islamic law and that. practicing widowhood. which is not a language of the Muslim masses in India. the conservative patriarchs. the world over. exploited. Particularly in India. Polygamy. meher. seem to be undergoing tremendous discrimination in the realm of family laws. Since the original texts are in Arabic. offering prayers and listening to religious sermons in the mosques. Again it is the men mostly who work on these scriptures to make them comprehensible and so the patriarchal overtures find their way in. rather patriarchal interpretation of original texts and lack of knowledge to women of the rights provided to them by the religion are the two important contributory factors for gender violence in Muslim community. they all have a direct bearing on women’s lives. and as enshrined in Qur’an and as was practiced by the greatest humanitarian . The two authentic sources for Muslims to lead an ideal life are the Qura’an and the Ahadees. ‘Meher’. oppressed. remarriage. It is often that we observe the cultural practices take religious colour and thus the sanctity .Muslim women are the most backward of all people in India. property rights. hapless and most marginalized in the name of the great religion. right to khula. These Muslim women. Subjugated. denying them the equality and equity which are the true essential elements and the spirit of Islam.

or for sheer ignorance. on the other hand. do undergo changes in expression and application from one age to another. rights and nationhood. religious ideology. The progressive thinkers in the community. Muslim feminists are trying to deconstruct the Muslim conceptual structures which are products of androcentric culture and patriarchal structure of the Muslim society during 8th and 11th century A.D. benevolence and compassion although inviolable as values. religious institutions can usurp democratic state authority to promote their own agendas even in a pluralist system like in India. and institutions. 48 . Religion may promote democratization or challenge liberal conception of rights and equality. Religion’s role in social change is linked to particular configuration of state authority. It appears Islamic revival does not necessarily repress women but empowers some of them. Religion in India shapes social change and political order in complex ways that are often misunderstood. granting a more public role in the religious community and providing a platform for launching critical discussions on religion. (Engineer: 1999). Qura’n’s mandate of justice. On the other hand. Hence. The laws have not been reformed either for the fear that this amounts to ‘interference’ with the ‘Divine’ thus making them immutable and hence follow (Taqleed) the same strictures which were introduced fifteen hundred years ago.have in fact denied them their rights as is enshrined in the holy Qura’n. as is necessitated by the changing socio-cultural and political milieu. feel it necessary to make use of the provision of the ‘Ijtehaad’ to reinterpret the law in the light of the Divine.

instituting Muslim Personal Law and the creation of standard marriage contract. A discernible tension points to a divide in India today. Muslim reformists strongly feel that they have a right to reclaim their religion. religion produces unexpected results by restructuring political engagement with state it is codified and implemented . Reforming Personal Laws in India is bound to be a far more complex process. interpretation of religious sources. and cutting through them are questions of gender. Alleviation of poverty. it becomes much more difficult for the forces of reform to triumph. and long entrenched clerical interests re-enforcing the counter-weight of popular conservative attitudes and practices on the other. and inter– communal relation all vie for the attention of progressive Muslims. This is between new forces of progressive Islam with their transformative rethinking of the religion on the one hand. In a communally charged society. to participate and contribute to an understanding of Islam . Yet there are also growing signs of a sense of urgency on the part of the Muslim community at large to move forward. But the Muslim women are no more mute witnesses to all the unfair practices being followed in the community in the name of religion. especially the Qura’n. 49 . They’re strong and vocal in their expression that shariah is not immutable.Reformist’s attention to the individual effects of religion at the grass root level leads to better understanding of the power of religion in political life. All change is a process of reformist currents vying with conservative ways that take into consideration the realities and experiences of women’s lives today. to redefine it. elimination of illiteracy. that the interpretation is biased and non-Islamic and patriarchal. There has been over the last decade or so a groundswell of expectations among Muslim women and an increasingly focused articulation in favour of them. and it also reflects how at societal or state level.

instead of forcing upon them what the Commission think is appropriate.  Programmes for their up-liftment should be framed with the suggestions from the community/women concerned. Her rights override her responsibilities.  The Muslim community should assume the onus of transforming from within Muslim Personal Law. she is kept always in an exalted position. and resources. with the help of agencies who are dedicatedly working to bring them out of the clutches of poverty. lack of knowledge of skills. hardship and marginalization.What is to be done? Quran does not make derogatory reference to women. be it as a daughter. Ulemas. Personal Law Board should make concerted efforts to bring in positive reforms in Nikahnama to safeguard the Muslim women from a life of destitution. it is  Imperative for Indian Muslim women to reclaim their right to religious knowledge.  The Muslim Seminaries.  Muslim women should learn/ be taught Arabic language to be able to understand the TEXT in its spirit. wife or a mother.  The Qura’nic mandate of justice. nevertheless undergoes changes in expression and application from one age to another. benevolence and compassion although inviolable as values.  The National/State Commissions for Women should play a positive interventionist role in reaching these women who are affected by poverty. Under the prevailing situations. enter the discourse on the shariah and challenge their historic marginalization from religious knowledge as well as its discriminatory interpretations. One needs to 50 .

51 .exercise the option of ‘Ijtehaad’ (Consensus) for the women’s rights as is enshrined in divine sources.  There is a need to create conducive atmosphere for the minority to feel secure. For creating this atmosphere. the majority community and secular political parties have to initiate the move and rise above the politics of religion and appeasement.

Indian mainstream politics etc have all relegated the Indian Muslim Woman to the fringes or treated her only as a stereotype. The question is not only how to bring Indian Muslim Women into the mainstream. It is not that the Indian Muslim Woman is completely different. MANUU. If today in the year 2015. Indian mainstream art. Nevertheless. 52 . Indian mainstream literature. The question is also how best the mainstream can allow a space to the Indian Muslim Women so they emerge from invisibility to visibility. Indian mainstream movies. the Indian Muslim Woman is an integral part of the Indian society and it is essential that her needs are addressed by the nation in the larger context of the progress of our country. Indian mainstream media. Indian mainstream advertising. The Voice of the Indian Muslim Woman is often curbed by the family. The present paper aims to throw light on the need for a complementary relationship between the Indian Muslim Women and Indian mainstream society for the development of the nation. the community. the most visible face of India in terms of the “Parda” or the “Burqa” or the “Hijab” is continually rendered the most invisible. DDE. majesticeloquence@gmail.In Search of A Space: The Indian Muslim Woman Dr. the Indian Muslim Woman is still in search of a The presence of the Indian Muslim Woman on the Indian soil can be traced back to several centuries but unfortunately. Yet. we are talking about bringing the Indian Muslim Woman in the mainstream that in itself speaks of the plight of the Indian Muslim Woman. Gulfishaan Habeeb Associate Professor of English. She is an Indian like any other Indian and she is a woman like any other woman. Indian mainstream television. and the society at different levels.

The portals of justice need to be sensitive to the needs of the Muslim women in India who suffer from defamation. Though the Indian society has been quick to adopt the western dress sense. Even though centuries have elapsed since Muslims first set foot on the Indian soil. A major hurdle that prevents the mainstreaming of the Indian Muslim Women is the xenophobia that prevails in the mainstream society. Just as when Indian women took to two wheelers and to jobs without giving up the usual attire be it saree or shalwar kameez. not much can be gained. she left no stone 53 . Only then the issues affecting the Muslim Women can be seen in the right perspective. The Panellists are all Hijab / Pardah observing women and so is everyone in the audience.The two photographs showing the Panellists and the audience at a Panel Discussion on Indian Women: Challenges and Discourse are more evocative than my full paper can get. similarly mainstream society should not expect Muslim women to give up their attire or their religious identity as they make inroads into Indian mainstream society. discrimination and disparaging comments. It is important that there is a dialogue across gender and religion. no community can make much progress. Legal awareness will go a long way in mainstreaming the Indian Muslim women. when Cornelia Sorabji became the first Indian woman to study law at Oxford University. As long as inclusiveness is not a part of society. Way back in 1889. Muslims are relegated to the fringes or treated only as a stereotype. My point: Why is there no non-Muslim among the women? My other point: Why is there no man? As long as we restrict the discourse to the Muslim Women in isolation. the burqa and the hijab (which characterize the Indian Muslim women) are yet to find acceptance in society. a sense of xenophobia is still clearly perceptible in the Indian mainstream society. The prevalent xenophobia prevents justice to the Indian Muslim women thereby preventing them from mainstreaming.

One of the causes for the oppression which is rife among the Indian Muslim women is poverty. The dismal economic condition of the Muslims in India is projected in the NCW Report with the support of data from Indian Human Development Report (1999): [P]overty level of Muslims is higher than that of Non-Muslims. The National Commission for Women Report titled Voice of the Voiceless: Status of Muslim Women in India by Dr. it is no wonder then that the worst suffers are the Muslim women who get further marginalized because of their poverty and fail to contribute to the nation.. This results in making them handicapped in delving [sic] contribution to society. the community. which is substantially less than their population ratio.” (21) The oppression is from within the self.unturned in her mission to offer legal service to the purdahnashin. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed states: “The public hearings brought out the universality of the problems faced by the Muslim women all over India..Muslim representation in government jobs is less than 3 percent at higher levels and not more than 6 percent at lower levels. Saksena (Faculty of Law at Allahabad University) states: People who are marginalized have relatively little control over their lives. which in turn leads to further isolation. and the resources available to them. Speaking of marginalized people.. (Mossman. from the family. Under such conditions. “Free us from oppression. A vicious circle is set up whereby their lack of positive and supportive relationships means that they are prevented from participating in local life.Muslim households have the lowest annual income. east or west. (Academike) 54 .. whether they lived in the north or south. First Women Lawyers). and the society at large. She even tried to convince the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court in preindependent India to consider having women lawyers for the purdah observing women. There was a common appeal underpinning the women’s voices.

.Hence. Celebrity Muslims as also the rich and the powerful Muslims have also encountered difficulties in finding property because of their religion. the need to cleanse the textbooks of all such prejudices” (p. It is worth noting that understanding the issues leading to the marginalization of the Muslim women will effectively lead to the amelioration of their issues. but also creates a negative impact on impressionable minds.The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) started in 2007 lays down the following as one of its objectives: “To work towards understanding and ameliorating the marginalization of Muslim community and Muslim women. which inhibit them from taking full advantage of the available educational facilities. The eating habits of the Muslims or their being Non-vegetarian are hardly used as euphemisms any more. This not only hardens the attitude of the children of one community against the other.It is indeed unfortunate that Muslims who constitute 13. employment and development.” (Source: Website page of BMMA) Another area which significantly contributes to the marginalization of Muslim women is the housing sector.. The NCW Report observes: It has been observed that there are social prejudices against Muslims at various levels.. Disinclination of mainstream society to sell/rent out property to Muslims inadvertently leads to the ghettoization of the Muslim Women preventing them from being in the mainstream.4 per cent of India’s population are considered to be a marginalized community in India today because in comparison to other communities they have been deprived of the benefits of education. There is a blatant “Not for Muslims” gradually seeping into the minds of the majority mainstream society. 55 . which is also injurious to the overall objectives of national integration.51 Ch VII). Such prejudices have been seeped into textbooks in schools. Prejudice against the Muslims works at several levels and is not merely confined to housing.

Muslim representation is minimal sand it is noticed that only Urdu Channels/newspapers mostly cater to the Muslim needs and issues. Radha. Forced to contend with severe and persistent prejudice.While the NCW Report refers to serious prejudices. Archana in the language books is there Fatima. The television in India also relegates a complete section of the society to the background. The Muslim is not always depicted in positive terms. I would like to point two very basic issues. The Muslim women are 56 . yet suffer the most politically and socio-economically. Munjial and Kaushik state: “That Islam treats women better than many other religious traditions or legal systems. (Muslims in Indian Cities) It is important that the majority mainstream society in India sheds its fear/prejudice of the Muslims. One finds it in cinema and the print and electronic media. A complementary move toward one another will go a long way in nation building and in mainstreaming the India Muslim women. The only thing projected in the media was that Islam metes out worse treatment to women” (Mainstream). Muslims constitute the largest minority in India. The Muslims are an integral part of India and are here not to supplant but to supplement. I further wish to state that the prejudice against the Muslims is ubiquitous. Rehana? The exclusion politics in syllabus formulation and the cultural insensitivity need to be replaced with the contribution of Indian Muslim women in various fields of life. It is the religious fanaticism that is highlighted and the presentation of situation and character is too often biased and aimed at projecting a backward and unprogressive image. The prevalent sense of prejudice against the Muslims in India has not been lost on Jaffrelot and Gayer (2012): Numbering more than 150 million. is Razia Sultana also taught? For every Meena. India’s Muslims are often targets of violence. was never brought out in any media analysis. For every Rani Jhansi taught in schools. Sameena.

Anyway. (Women and Islam: 1991) The quote is used to substantiate that there is nothing in the religion Islam which prevents Muslim women from mainstreaming. but it is a part of a Muslim tradition. Muslim women. for full participation in the political and social affairs of our country stems from no imported values. They too have contributed to the nation. it is imperative to look at the socio-economic causes and consider how best these can be redressed. Efforts have been made at different levels for the empowerment of Muslim women. It is important that the dialogue is across gender and across religion so that a consensus emerges. democracy. I strongly recommend giving the average Indian Muslim woman access to the computer and the internet. Is tailoring the only profession a Muslim woman is suitable for? Is marriage her ultimate goal? Why don’t we think of providing computer training? Education level does matter much here. despite their marginalisation. did join the mainstream in different areas at different positions. to name a few: Fathima Beevi (first woman justice of Supreme Court who also 57 . Of the many Indian Muslim women in the mainstream. Free coaching in tailoring. marriage loans have been dished out but these did not break the cocoon and the Indian Muslim women remain outside mainstream. knowing that the quest for dignity. What the leading African author and Professor at Technical University of Agdal Rabat. then. In India. embroidery. Education. Morocco.prevented by their religion in participating in the development of the nation. mehndi-design. it will only go to encourage the Muslim women to seek education to be computer savvy. Fatima Mernissi has to say about Muslim women in her country can be equally applied to the Muslim women in India. The E factor is extremely significant these days. employability and Empowerment are now at the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger. Mernissi states: We Muslim women can walk into the modern world with pride.

The Muslim women have never been prevented from mainstreaming by their religion. (Source: NAAC Self Study Report 2015 and University Dairy 2015).Phil degrees by the University). Najma Heptullah (Union Minister). Syeda Anwara Taimur (first and only lady Chief Minister of Assam). Urdu University has also contributed to the mainstreaming of Indian Muslim women. Ruveda Salam and Sarah Rizvi (IPS) and countless others. 58 . Mehbooba Mufti (Chief of a Political Party). Closer in 2006. Right from the days of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) women have been in sphere of activity. 3 Muslim women on the Executive Council. there are on an average 1/3rd Muslim women students in the regular mode while in the distance mode the Muslim women nearly equal the men students and there is adequate representation of women on the University Committees. Gowhar (winner of Big Boss 7). 11 Muslim women on the Academic Council. The mandate of the University is to provide focus on women education apart from other objectives.D and M. It is interesting to note here that the world’s oldest continuously operating degree granting University recognised as such by UNESCO and the Guinness Book of World Records is Al Qarawiyyin University which was founded way back in the 9th century by a Muslim woman. 10 Muslim women with UGC Major/Minor Research Projects. Young Indian Muslim girls are today trained in martial arts as seen in the picture. Anousheh Ansari became the first Muslim woman in Space. Sayeda Saiyidain Hameed (first woman Chancellor of MANUU and former member NCW and Planning Commission). Fatimah al-Fihriyah. Sania Mirza and Nikhat Zareen (in Sports).served as Governor of Tamil Nadu). As on date there are 18 Indian Muslim women heading at various levels. more than 40 Muslim women employees with doctorate degrees (several Muslim women have also been awarded Ph.

E empowerment. Oxford: Hart Publishing. inclusive policies. Law and the Legal Professions. Vol Li. 2006. Mernissi. Mary Jane. 59 . Fatima. 1991. We care what’s in it. end to cultural insensitivity and prevention of ghettoization. Women and Islam: An Historical and Theological Enquiry. “The Problems of Marginalised Groups in India. legal awareness. Munjial. employment opportunities. Jaffrelot. New Delhi: NCW. Monica and Poonam Kaushik. No 12. end to marginalization. References: Hameed.” No law will successfully abolish a vice from a society unless it is abolished from the minds of its people. wiping out of xenophobia.” Mainstream. Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalization. Devesh. 2000. end to the disparaging mind set of the mainstream society. integrated development. 2013.” Academike. Voice of the Voiceless: Status of Muslim Women in India. Christophe and Laurent Gayer.To sum up. Issue 3:21. While the wait for a new dawn continues. access to education. spread of awareness of the contribution of Muslim women since the time of the Prophet (saw). 2014. Mossman. 2012. “Muslim Women and Minority Rights in India. The First Women Lawyers: A Comparative Study of Gender. Vol 1. Syeda Saiyidain. Saksena. the Indian society must take the hijab in its stride and declare “We don’t care what’s on your head. the following solutions are suggested for mainstreaming the Indian Muslim women: alleviation of poverty. India: Harper Collins. Mass: Blackwell.

Islamic microfinance provides an innovative interest-free alternative to conventional micro-finance primarily based on the profit-sharing principles of equity based finance.siddiqui@yahoo. 60 .Economic Empowerment of Excluded Muslim Women through Islamic Micro Finance: A Case of Hyderabad Prof.0 Introduction The formal financial sector is not effectively serving the poor population in the developing countries due to the failure of financial intermediaries in fulfilling their basic functions such as providing production credit to finance Income Generating Activities (IGA).com 1. More over these institutions have failed to promote financial inclusion of the financially excluded strata of the society too. reduction in the adverse selection of the borrowers. Sachar Committee and Raghuram Rajan Committee have discussed in detail the plight of Muslims and suggested faith based micro finance as one of the major measures to ensure inclusive economic growth of Muslim minorities in India. Islamic microfinance institutions have been proved very successful in terms of outreach and performance. development of collateral substitutions and in offering cost-effective approaches to formal institutions. MANUU farida. Farida Siddiqui Department of Economics. consumption credit to maintain and expand human productive capacity and schemes for quality saving for increasing risk-bearing capacity of the poor households. India has a sizeable population of Muslims and a large portion falls in the financially excluded category.

It means not only greater extrinsic control but also a growing intrinsic capability. 61 . the community.0 Economic Empowerment of Women: The Concept Empowerment is the process by which the powerless gain greater control over the circumstances of their lives. Empowerment is about the transformation of power relations between m en and women at four distinct levels. includes access to and control over material. institutional and social) as well as a possible and measurable change in self-perception and confidence (England P. 2000). the market and the state. Such transformation.. values and attitudes) ( Batliwala . the household/family. human and intellectual) and over ideology ( beliefs. and other resources (economic. It includes control over resources (physical. namely. legal. greater self-confidence and an inner transmission of one's consciousness that enables one to overcome external barriers to accessing resources or changing traditional ideology. viewed in different contexts of power.1994 ) . 2.This paper in this context attempts to argue that interest free micro finance promotes economic empowerment of excluded Muslim women which in turn help them to acquire the capabilities and assets so that they get out of the clutches of poverty.

and religious factors to promote inclusion for the good of society as a whole. Hence increasing the role of women in general and marginalised Muslim women in particular is part of the solution to the socio-economic problems of the economy and critical for inclusive growth.Economic empowerment increases women’s access to economic resources and opportunities including jobs.0 Islamic Micro Finance and Economic Empowerment Islam emphasizes ethical. we need to be mindful that marginalised Muslim women like other women even in poor living conditions try to earn extra money for improving economic status of the family by borrowing money through Islamic Micro Finance and contribute positively for the well being of the family. Islam views exclusion as a curse to be eradicated through productive efforts unlike some world philosophies that celebrate asceticism. Women’s economic participation and empowerment are fundamental to strengthening women’s rights and enabling women to have control over their lives . 3.Women usually invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men. Investments in gender equality yield the highest returns of all development investments (OECD. at the same time. skills development and market information. property and other productive assets. 2010). The economic empowerment of women is a prerequisite for sustainable development. On March 20th 2010 World Bank President Zoellick speaking at the MDG3 Conference in Copenhagen quoted a study in Brazil which showed that the likelihood of a child’s survival increased by 20% when the mother controlled household income. Gender equality and empowered women are catalysts for multiplying development efforts. pro-poor growth and the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). moral. a convergence 62 . It is about creating just and equitable societies. However. There is therefore. financial services. social.

jahl and darar. It has the potential to convert dead capital into income generating assets to financially and economically excluded people of the society. Interest free financial services enable poor Muslims to use profitable business opportunities and raise earnings. The approach in the present study is to focus on economic empowerment through Islamic micro finance as a system based on ethical shari’ah principles to assess its impact on Excluded Muslim Women in Hyderabad. Conventional financial markets often serve poor people badly. The literal and simple meaning of Zakah is purity. Zakah and sadaqah as instruments of charity occupy a central position in the Islamic scheme of poverty alleviation. the trusts have evolved and are being used as a socio-economic tool for religion. “Awqaaf” institutions (charitable trusts) were philanthropically endowed as a principal-preserving. usufruct-delivering. 3.1 Models of Islamic Microfinance for Economic Empowerment: Islamic Micro finance provides an innovative interest-free alternative to conventional micro-finance. Since marginalised Muslims often have insufficient traditional forms of collateral to offer. The Islamic approach to economic empowerment is free from riba. society-welfare asset.between the objectives of Islam and the avowed aims of best practices of Micro Finance (Obaidullah 2007). It is based primarily on the profit-sharing principles of equity based finance. education and public service provision. The technical meaning of the word designates the annual amount in kind or coin which a Muslim with means must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries. Initially consisting of donated durable assets (traditionally land and buildings).1 Mission-Based Not-For-Profit Model 63 .1. Islamic micro finance is based on the following models (Obaidullah. they are often excluded from financial markets. gharar. 2007): 3.

micro-equity. micro-savings. zakah. we come across a host of forprofit modes through which such services may be provided to the poor. Islam permits for-profit trade and creation of wealth. For-profit financing provides financial sustainability to Islamic Microfinance Institutions. Microfinance Services: The poor need a range of microfinance services. awqaf and qard-hasan. Microfinance in Islam need not be restricted to not-for-profit modes alone. property and physical assets for charitable purposes. 3. In the context of mainstream Islamic finance. The members of such groups do not belong to the extremely poor or the destitute category and are in a position to create wealth for themselves. sadaqa. When benefits from sadaqa are expected to continuously flow over future. The term sadaqa implies charity.2 Market-Based For-Profit Modes Islamic approach to poverty alleviation is a composite of a mission based and market-based interventions. micro-credit. Sadaqa .refers to zakah. 64 .A mission-based approach to poverty alleviation and development in Islam involves several not-for-profit mechanisms. it is called sadaqa jaria (perpetual sadaqa) and involves waqf or endowment of land. a. such as. This mission based non-profit model of microfinance combines the three major modes of Islamic microfinance – zakah. it is easy to see that the poor who fall into “economically active” category may be provided financing using forprofit modes as well. micro-takaful and micro-remittance.1.when prescribed and compulsory on Muslims . for the Islamic Microfinance Institution and for the society. In terms of the earlier model of microfinance that uses not for-profit modes only. such as. Qard hasan implies loans that are free from any benefit or return to the lender and is more commonly referred to as interest-free loan (The lender expects a reward only from God). awqaf and qard hasan into one.

A seller under an istisna agreement undertakes to develop or manufacture a commodity with clear specifications for an agreed price and deliver after an agreed period of time. Bai-Istijrar takes place when the buyer purchases different quantities of a given commodity from a single seller over a period of time. the seller delivers the total quantity of commodity 65 . Micro-Savings Micro-savings is a critical financial service for poor and excluded households. bai-salam. Bai-salam is a deferred delivery contract. Bai muajjal is a sale where payment of price is deferred to a future date. bai-istisna. the deposits are held as amana or in trust and utilized by the microfinance institution at its own risk. which implies a sale on a cost-plus basis. especially those in South-East Asia. qard hasan and mudaraba have their parallel in savings. bai-istijrar etc. In other words. Micro-Credit Micro Credit is Islamic alternative to interestbased conventional loan which is trade based or lease-based that permits the ownership and/or use of commodities or physical assets needed for productive enterprise while deferring the payments to future time periods. current and time deposits respectively and are a regular source of funds for Islamic microfinance institutions. These deposits that may take the form of wadiyya. It is essentially a forward agreement where delivery occurs at a future date in exchange for spot payment of price. c. Bai-Istisna is a contract of manufacture. There are several such products developed by mainstream Islamic financial institutions involving murabaha. bai-muajjal. Often it includes features of a murabaha. Bai muajjal simply implies deferment of payment of price irrespective of whether the cost and mark-up are known to parties or not. ijara. Ijara in simple terms implies leasing or hiring of a physical asset for a known time period. both parties to the transaction must know the cost and the profit or mark-up. convenient deposit services that allow for small balances and transactions and offer easy access to their funds. In a murabaha. Under this mechanism.b. Poor people want secure.Wadia is an Islamic deposit. qard-hasan and mudaraba: Deposits in the form of wadiyya.

3 A Composite Model of Islamic Microfinance A composite model of Islamic microfinance is a combination of Islamic non-profit model and for-profit model.a combination of entrepreneurship and capital and musharaka. This mode is ideal for microfinance where micro-entrepreneurs often buy their raw materials and inputs in small quantities from the same vendor over extended periods.the parts of zakah funds are directed towards meeting their basic necessities as grant.  After identifying the financially excluded people carefully . 3. utilizing community-held physical assets under waqf. The above mentioned model may be described in terms of the following activities:  Riba-free Microfinance Institution creates a Zakah Fund with contribution from muzakki. purchased in installments.a partnership in entrepreneurship and capital.  Beneficiaries graduate with improved skills and managerial acumen.1. These equity-based products are unique to Islamic microfinance and in some sense. account for its superiority over conventional microfinance on grounds of ethics and efficiency. Micro-Equity The model based on various partnership or equity modes is another model of riba free microfinance. The monetary assets may be in the form of a cash waqf.  Program provides skills training to economically excluded.  Beneficiaries are formed into groups with mutual guarantee under the concept of kafala 66 .  Program facilitates Waqf of physical assets as well as monetary assets.d. The physical assets are used to facilitate education and skills training. or simply as ordinary sadaqa. Two classical modes commonly discussed in this context are mudaraba.

 Group members pay back their debt. The betterment of poor people requires an effort that spans all sectors of the economy and may not be easy to achieve through economic growth alone. Financing is provided using a combination of for-profit debtbased modes. such as.  Group members are encouraged to save under appropriate micro savings schemes. ijara.As a result poor borrowers face high transaction costs when they sought loans from formal financial institutions. are provided higher levels of financing. The challenge of reducing poverty and improving living conditions for the poor population of India in general and Muslims in particular is a formidable one. Riba free financial services enable poor Muslims to use profitable business opportunities and raise earnings. such as. and/or perform and meet the expectations of equity providers and.  Guarantee against default by the group is provided by the Zakah Fund and actual defaulting accounts are paid off with zakah funds. in turn. travel and paperwork involved in obtaining credit. 67 . mudaraba or musharaka or declining musharaka. sickness and so on. Conventional financial markets often serve poor people badly as they always fear while extending credit facilities to the poor that loans would not be repaid . Improved access to financial services helps poor people by enabling payment transactions then bring them into the formal sector. salam.  Groups members are encouraged to form a Takaful Fund to provide micro-insurance against unforeseen risks and uncertainties resulting in loss of livelihood. bai-muajjal. The costs included time. istisna or isijrar or equity based modes.

A significant percentage of Muslim population in India is trapped in the vicious circle of poverty too. Sachchar Committee’s Report (2006) and India Human Development Report (2011) have also revealed that Muslims in the country are a socially. 4.The Islamic approach to economic empowerment through is to provide an innovative interest-free alternative to conventional micro-finance. The Census Report (2001). 2006a).1 Problem Statement The development of microfinance programs gained a worldwide acceptance and popularity since 1980s in providing financial services to the poor. Since poverty causes high level of deficit in education and employment. According to National Council of Applied Economic Research three out of ten Muslims were below the poverty line in 2004-05. The present study focuses on the inclusive role of Shari’ah based micro finance in the economic empowerment poor marginalised Muslim women living on the brim of Hyderabadi society. In Indian context Shari’ah based Micro Finance Institutions by providing interest free loans to the excluded. It is one way of the antipoverty instrument of the development 68 . In a more than sixty five years old democracy of Independent India it is now necessary to provide access to and provision of opportunities in education and employment to the Muslim community through ‘Micro Finance’. marginalised and poor Muslims not only give an alternative to the needy but also promote policies that are inclusionary in nature. economically and educationally excluded community. 4.2007). They are also lagging behind even historically marginalised SCs and STs (GOI.0 Frame Work of the Study Muslims as a ‘community’ in India have been the victims of multidimensional exclusion since independence. Zakah and sadaqah are other instruments of poverty alleviation(Obaidullah. Muslims as a result are being confronted with the problem of greater deficit in education and employment as compared to any other religious group in India. It is free from interest.

microfinance development in its institutionalized form is increasingly becoming popular in all the Less Developed Countries . Formal financial institutions are inefficient and inaccessible in providing credit facilities to the poor. However. It also assists Shari’ah Based Micro Finance to build strong capacity to meet the fast growing demand of credit by the poor. Lack of financial resources is one of the major problems facing poor households. 2001). it is still providing financial services to a very limited number of clients. This study attempts to assess the impact of Islamic microfinance intervention on Muslim women by taking a case study of Islamic welfare Society. Thus. as a case study is that. The justification of selecting Islamic Welfare Society. Islamic welfare Society has started providing Shari’ah based micro finance by establishing riba-free microfinance institutions. Interest free Microfinance became one of the important tools of reaching the poor who had very limited access to the formal financial sector. The main objective of almost all La-Riba microfinance institutions is to deliver financial services to the poor. The Grameen Bank's group lending methodology became widely adopted by institutions in many parts of the world (Robinson. These types of market assessments may help Shari’ah Based Micro Finances to collect information. Numerous institutions in many parts of the developing world have been providing micro-credit and recovering their loans. Islamic welfare Society has shown a promising growth in its operation and outreach. Relative to the experience of other developing countries. developing an alternative mechanism for providing financial services to the poor households became critical. it focused on the marginalized poor Muslims especially 69 . which make them financially and operationally sustainable. There is a high-unmet demand. In realizing this.programs.

creating job opportunity and enhancing empowerment. and its geographic coverage included both Charminar and Mallepally clients. 4. 2. The Specific objectives are as under: 1. Increasing employment opportunity 2.3 Hypothesis In order to conduct the impact assessment of Islamic micro finance on economic empowerment. Increasing production c. To analyze various business and trade activities of the city’s poor Muslim women who have been deprived due to the lack of resources 3. Increasing profit b. To study the role of Islamic Micro finance agencies in the economic empowerment of these economically excluded Muslim women so as to bring them get out of the vicious circle of poverty. The provision of Shari’ah based Microfinance has a positive impact on clients at Enterprise Levels: a. 70 Increasing income . The provision of Shari’ah based Microfinance has a positive impact on clients at the Household Level: a. 4. the following two hypotheses are developed: 1.2 Objectives of the Study The general objective of this study is to assess the impact of La-Riba microfinance services on poverty reduction at household and enterprise levels by increasing income. To review the experience of poor Muslim women in relation to Shari’ah based micro finance. Increasing fund availability d.Muslim women.

Increasing food security f. Increasing access to education and health care g. Enhancing empowerment 4.b. Therefore. Among these. It also adds a body of knowledge in the area. particularly in India.4 Significance of the Study Institutional Shari’ah based Microfinance is lately emerging phenomenon which had not been given due attention in development paradigm. Increasing savings h. it may not have a strong scientific justification and representativeness to generalize about the impact of Shari’ah Based Micro Finances Institutions s on reducing poverty in the entire country. It only focuses on one Shari’ah Based Micro Finance Institutions and very limited sample size. This study will contribute in filling the information gap by assessing the socio. Increasing assets ownership e. As a result.5 Limitation of the Study This study is limited to the households who are participating in Islamic welfare Society Micro financing program. 4.economic impact of Islamic welfare Society operations in Hyderabad region at a household and enterprise level. Increasing consumption c. very limited studies have been undertaken in this area. Increasing housing ownership and improvements d. 71 . This case study has attempted to address the lacuna of research on the impact of micro financing programs at enterprise and household levels and its role in combating poverty. The document in the Association of Indian Microfinance Institution revealed that Indian microfinance institutions are facing a number of challenges. lack of research to understand clients' needs is a vital problem.

. significance. 4. 4. miles. The first . It is believed that. the concepts of economic empowerment and Islamic micro finance . Despite the above limitations. 1776 ft. Hyderabad is nearly 400 years old and is noted for its natural beauty. Due to absence of a baseline survey before the implementation of the program. There is also the problem of getting reliable information from respondents.7 Field of the Study Hyderabad. Because the study is time and finance bounded as compared to the wideness and intensiveness of the work. hypotheses. respondents may not recall the situations before taking loans properly. above sea level. mosques and minarets.The other limitation of the study is time and financial constraint. the random samples selected from the clients of Islamic welfare Society are considered sufficient enough to represent the marginalised Muslims of Hyderabad. A multitude of influences have shaped the character of the city. This city is the fifth largest city in India with a history of ancient civilisation and culture. It is perched on the top of the Deccan Plateau.6 Organization of the Study This research paper is organized into seven sections. and sprawls over an area of 100 Sq. is the field for this study.second and third sections deal with background. Section six is focused on the major findings of the study.The fourth section deals with framework of the study such as statement of the problem. the random samples helps to make reasonable analysis and conclusion on assessing the impact of microfinance services on poverty reduction in both Charminar and Mallepally areas. the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Section seven is the conclusion and recommendation part of the study. limitation and conceptual framework of the study. Whereas section five describes the research methodologies applied in the study. Its palaces and buildings. bazaars and bridges. hills and lakes. 72 . objectives of the study.

Hyderabad has a big divide in the population.0 Research Methodology 5. under the Nizam's. Major chunk of excluded marginalised Muslim population lives in this part of the city. There was no income tax. railways.1 Data Collection The study is based on both primary and secondary sources of data collected from Islamic Welfare Society operating in the Old city of Hyderabad. While some areas concentrate luxurious houses and commercial buildings. and postal system. Hyderabad. On November 1. there is a big shortage of health facilities. focus group discussions and 73 . However. Hyderabad State merged with the Union of India. Apart from being one of the fast-growing IT centres. The State had its own currency. water and sanitation. In this part of the city. 1956 the map of India was redrawn into linguistic states. The present study is based on this very part of the citycalled as the old city. An exception in south India. mint. the so called “old city” has several “bastis” (slums) and several poor communities. 5. The Primary data is collected from old city’s two branches of Islamic Welfare Society . gardens and streets have a history and an architectural individuality of their own.The primary sources of data is obtained from direct observation.houses and tenements. Area wise it was as big as England and Scotland put together. it is believed to be 40% of the Hyderabad’s population against 12% of the Indian average. which makes Hyderabad a city of enchantment. infrastructure. and Hyderabad became the capital of Andhra Pradesh. the city houses a large size of Urdu speaking Muslim community. Soon after India gained independence. was the largest princely state in India. structured and unstructured questionnaires.Mallepally and Charminar .

Thus. the questionnaire was tested for its validity by using pilot survey. Three supervisors and five enumerators were trained to collect relevant data from sample households and enterprises.interviewing the concerned parties like management staff and employees of Islamic welfare Society at the main office and at each branch. This enabled the enumerators and respondents to easily understand the questions. The questionnaire was prepared in English language. the questionnaire was translated into Urdu. The questionnaire was refined and finalized after incorporating the inputs of the pilot survey. and on detailed contents of the questionnaire. express their ideas comfortably and reduce communication barriers. which they can understand. The interview enabled the researcher to capture and ascertain both subjective and objective facts. Structured questionnaires were used to collect information from households on various aspects of impact dimensions. 74 . This method helped the researcher to observe the real impact of Islamic welfare Society’s intervention on poor clients. A training manual was prepared to train enumerators. Before applying it. which focused on the objectives of the study on how to approach a respondent. Two Field investigators and staff members were involved in pilot testing. The enumerators were given a one-day training on the training manual. Most respondents in the survey speak Urdu. Therefore. The respondents should know and told about the research objectives in the language. face-to-face interview were important in order to increase probability of response rate and flexibility in extracting more qualitative and quantitative information. how to record the responses. Direct observation is made in Mallepally and Charminar branches. The interviews were administered on randomly selected active clients and incoming clients to answer questions regarding their situation before they took the loan based on their memory and after taking the loan.

The study has used two groups of samples namely. periodicals. 5. Control group was used to avoid the problem of intervening variables (variables that are affecting the output of the research other than independent variables). bulletins. A total of five focus group discussions. Among five group discussions one female and two male group discussions were conducted in Charminar areas and the remaining one female and one male group discussions were conducted in Mallepally areas. reports. employees and branch managers and Islamic welfare Society officials were conducted to collect qualitative information. proceedings. Secondary data were obtained from documents. Experimental groups are randomly selected from the list of Islamic welfare Society active clients and ex-clients (dropouts). which would be clients of the Islamic welfare Society n the near future or incoming clients. male and female clients had separate group discussions. This control group is randomly selected from the list of people who are in the training phase. two in Charminar and the three in Mallepally areas were conducted. Each group discussion had seven to ten participants. comments and provide some recommendations. This also strengthened the reliability of the finding. of which. The focus group discussions were conducted in both Mallepally and Charminar households. experimental group and control group. journals. The sample 75 . To reduce the risk of biasedness.2 Sample Design A case study design is used in the study as the Case study design helps to examine the detailed features of the institution. Discussions with key informants such as some clients of Islamic welfare Society. Internet. various books and other relevant materials.Conducting focus group discussions was important to assess the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of clients in service provision and disclose their problems.

In this technique sampling units are stratified depending on the branch category or grouping of the institution. nonzero and equal chance of being included and hence representativeness.frame of the study is the entire people found in the list of Islamic welfare Society Shari’ah based microfinance institution. there are various sample size estimation methods.05 or occasionally at 0. Depending on this.96 which corresponds to the 95 percent confidence interval p = proportion in the target population estimated to have a particular characteristics q=l -p d = degree of accuracy usually set at 0. the level of confidence and the maximum deviation from true population that can be tolerated in the study. Islamic welfare Society has branch offices operating in both Charminar and Mallepally Fort areas. Thus. The first stage is the selection of sample branches of the Islamic welfare Society. Both the branches are purposefully selected as they lie in the Old city area and have many similar characteristics of marginalised muslim community. The second stage is selection of sample respondents from the selected branches. sample size depends on the total number of population.000 and sample size of above 30 is formulated as: n = z 2pq d2 where: n = sample size (when population is greater than 10. 76 .01. Probability sampling ensures sampling units a known. Two stage sample design procedures were employed for the survey. Among these the method or model used to determine the desired sample size with the population of above 10.000) z = the standard normal deviation usually set at 1. Probability sampling technique or simple random sampling is used in the study. Determining the appropriate sample size is important in research undertaking.

Mallepally and Golconda Fort.4 Data analysis The method of analysis used in the study is descriptive statistics. Among 150 samples. while control groups were composed of clients in the training or incoming clients (clients ready to get service from Islamic Welfare Society in the near future but not in the pipe line at present). 100 samples were used as experimental group and 50 were used as control group.1 Demographic Characteristics of Respondents 77 . . only women clients were selected for the study. To manage the research within the given time and limited budget. was used to process the raw data.75 samples were selected from each branch i. From these valid respondents 91 were experimental groups and 49 were control groups. Although enumerators attempting to convince respondents to fill the questionnaire. Among these samples. housing condition. 5. Percentages and central tendency measurements were also used to analyze the data. business growth and employment opportunities between active clients and incoming clients in both Charminar and Mallepally areas. 6. health.5. education. Experimental groups were composed of active clients (clients in the pipeline) and ex-clients (dropouts). 140 were valid. From the total sample size. a total of 150 samples were selected using random sampling.0 Findings of the Study 6. some of them were not willing to respond and the rest were not found in the area during survey.e. SPSS. the latest version. It includes the comparison of income.3 Sample Size The study is focused on women clients from each area equally. nutrition.

9% of respondents from exclients and incoming clients respectively are Charminar dwellers.8% are from Mallepally clients. 42.The distribution of respondents in Table 3 reveals that from the total 140 valid respondents 83 (60%) are active clients. experimental groups have less number of dependents than control groups on the average after taking loans. ex. However.6. the number of dependents is reduced after taking the loan in experimental groups.8 100 73. 85. 7 (5%) are exclients or dropouts. With regarding to the number of dependents.clients and incoming clients respectively.3 100 The sample survey result also indicates that an average of 4.2 57. 78 .1 100 85. Mallepallyclients have relatively more children than Charminar clients. Location Table 3: Respondents’ Location Ex-clients(n=7) Active Clients(n=83) Percent Percent Incoming clients(n= 46) Percent Charminar Mallepally Total 42. and 3. However.7% and 73.9 children for active clients.9 26. Furthermore. 3.7 14. and 46 (35%) are incoming clients.2% of the sample (active clients) is from Charminar and 57. From the total samples more than 90% provided useful information. All sample clients both in Charminar and Mallepallyarea have below the national average children size.

9) than the experimental groups category.1% and 85.1 5. In active and incoming client respondents. The sample is composed of active clients.7 31.2 3. of children 3.Table 4 gives the detailed profiles of the respondents in the study. ex-clients and incoming clients. The table reveals that average household size of experimental groups is more or less similar (5 and 4. the majority are male-headed households (57.4 No. While the average household size of control group (incoming clients) is slightly greater (5.1% of the ex-clients are female-headed households.7% of active clients and ex-clients who filled the questionnaire are household heads. the majority of respondents are females. Table 4: Demographic Characteristics of Respondents Active clients (n=84) Ex-clients (n=7) Incoming clients (n=49) Charmi nar Averag e Mallepall y Average Age 35.4 4 2.1% and 51% respectively) while 57.8 4 3.6 4.1 5. The average household size of Charminar clients is slightly higher than the household size of Mallepally clients before and after taking the loan in experimental groups.1 5 4 4.5 - - - Averag e Household size: Before Loan After loan No.5 5.9 5.4 3.6 29 45 37 31 32. of dependents 79 . About 82. But the reverse is true in control group category.1 5 4 4.7 Grand Mallepal ly Average Gra nd Ave rage Charm inar Avera ge Mallepal ly Average Grand Avera ge Charmi nar Averag e 37.5) before and after taking the loan.9 5. In ex-clients and incoming clients.8 6 5.9 5.2 4.8 4.8 36.

7 92.6 10 7.8 45 36.8 3 3.1 84.4 Mostly I 5.6 11.7 10 13.9 No answer 11. Table: 5 Empowerment of Women in Decision Making (valid n=38) Indicators Responses Charminar Any c re dit in your name after marriage Yes 83.2 No No answer 5.5 Husband and you 50 45 47.1 5 7.6 No answer 5.7 35 26.2 Empowerment of Women This study reveals that Islamic Microfinance intervention is leading to women empowerment by increasing their income and their control over that household resource (including their own income).6 45 50 Mostly I - 5 2.8 No answer 16.1 No answer 10. 5 94.5 5.3 85.3 7.2 Yes 89.8 3.3 4 3.5 Are you a decision maker on the usage of loans Are you a decision maker on the use of business profit Do your loan experience :  % Mallepally % Total dd confidence in your  ecision making  Highly confident our level of self confidence 80 No confidence 5.6 - 2.9 .Before Loan After Loan 3.6 - 2.9 3.3 4 3.6 Only I 27.6 45 50 Mostly I 11.2 - - - 6.6 3.8 15 21 Husband and I 55.7 3.3 Are you a decision maker to take the credit Husband and I 55. and increasing their participation in household decision making.3 No answer 27.3 3.6 4 3.5 2.2 40 31. enhancing their knowledge and skills in production and trade.1 10 10.1 15 - 10.6 Only I 16.9 90 89.5 5.9 Only I 22.

About 50% of respondents indicated that the decision to use the loan and 47. It is clearly indicated that about 94. Similarly 86.7 % (large majority) of the households improved their enterprise capacity after taking loans. 26. while only wife makes 31.Table 5 indicates that out of the total respondents the majority of women (85%) took loans after they got marriage.1 % and 93. Moreover. Joint decision-making is better in charminar household (55. about 54. Among these. the sample survey results reveal that Ar Rehma Foundation 81 . the decision to take the loan is jointly made by the husband and wife. The findings of the study revealed that Islamic Welfare Society program enhanced women's participation in decision-making and increases their self-confidence.6%) than Mallepally households (45 %). In conclusion. more than 92 % confirmed that the participation in Islamic Welfare Society program raised their confidence in decision-making.8% of business profit decision.8 % of respondents confirmed that their enterprises' production and profit have increased after they borrowed money from Ar Rehma Foundation respectively.3 % of the respondents confirmed that they hired additional workers in their enterprises other than their family members. However. Out of the total sample respondents. This indicates that women have at least equal or more power than their husbands in the decisions on the loan.9% of loan usage and 36. Mallepally clients are slightly higher than charminar clients in taking loans after marriage. about 27. after the loans from Ar Rehma Foundation .3 % of the respondents reported that only the wife makes the decision on the loan.5 % of the respondents indicated that their enterprises increased job opportunities for the community. Besides. No one reported that husband as the only decision maker on the loans in the household both in Charminar and Mallepally households. About 50 percent of respondents reported that.4% to use the business profit is jointly made by the husband and wife. Similarly about 90 % of respondents reported that they have higher level of self-confidence after taking the loan.

6 % were hired laborers. where as 37 % responded that they have co-workers to help them in running the business before the loan. Table 6 shows the impact of Islamic Welfare Society program on enterprises using impact indicators such as job opportunity. Most of the respondents (63 %) reported that members of the household ran their enterprises. employing more. Through this expansion enterprises can increase production. increasing production and increasing net profit.3 Impact of Islamic Micro Finance at the Household Level It is expected that Muslim women can benefit from microfinance program by improving access to credit which helps them to expand their business. profit and create job opportunities to their households and the community.6 13 Yes 27.5 No 45.5 Hired laborer Others 22. Among these co-workers. Indicators Table 6: Impact on Women Entrepreneurs (valid n=84) Responses Percent Any co-workers in your business to help you before loan Relation of co-workers Hired additional laborer after the loan Your business increase job opportunity after loan 82 Yes 37 No 63 Family member 64. about 64.3 No 72.5 .7 Yes 54.program has a significant positive impact at enterprise level by improving business. 6. production process and profit before and after taking loans.5 % were household members and 22.

Business improvement after loan Your business production after loan Your business profit after loan Yes 94.5 Increased 93. and technical assistance).8 6. savings. insurance) along with nonfinancial services (primarily education.3 No change 13. also provide non-financial services such as vocational training. 6. technical assistance. a number of microfinance institutions (MFIs) with a strong pro-poor positioning promoted the idea of comprehensive microfinance services (Hickson.1 Non-financial services Microfinance institutions (MFIs). in addition to their financial products. microfinance has generated various debates about its capacity to fight poverty (Flore & Serres). MFIs provide beneficiaries with financial services (credit.3. Based on this principle.9 Increased 86.3. These aim at improving the borrowers’ capacities to develop sustainable income generating activities. 1999). agricultural or health education Like many other development instruments.2 Training 83 . practical training.7 No change 18. but also health services. Under this approach.7 No 5.1 Decreased 2. Many practitioners argue that microfinance per se needs to be combined with other actions to effectively improve the living conditions of its beneficiaries.

3.3 No answer 8. Most of the clients (52.1 No answer 1. During the focus group discussions. most of the participants reported that the training delivered by Islamic Welfare Societyis satisfactory.6 More than 3 times 33. About 91.5 Once 17. Activities Table 7: Training of Clients (valid n=84) Indicators Percent Training taken Type of training taken Number of trainings taken Yes 91.9 Three times 28.2 saving 11.3 6.3 Monitoring and Supervision 84 .7 % of women received training.9 No answer 9.2 loan utilization 52.7 No 7.4 Skill development 26.Training is one of the non-financial services provided by Ar Rehma Foundation.9 Twice 11.4 %) received training on loan utilization. skill development and savings. The trainings were focused on loan utilization. Most of the clients were trained not less than three times. while about 7 % didn't. Table 7 indicates the trainings delivered to the active women clients of Ar Rehma Foundation.

Table 8: Supervision of clients (valid n=84) Response Percent Activities Any supervision on loan utilization and repayment Quality of supervision Yes 92. regular and satisfactory. participants of the focus group discussions were satisfied with supervision where they received advices to help them to achieve better success and encouraged them to repay the loan on time.e.8 % were supervised conditionally i. Most of the clients (79. whether they used their loan to the intended purpose or not and ensure repayment of loans in accordance with the schedule. when supervision was necessary.8 No answer 2. Regular monitoring and supervision of loan utilization is expected to help in reducing diversion of loans towards unintended activities. As per the results in table 8. which will encourage clients to increase their performance and reduce defaults.8 %) accept the supervision of Islamic Welfare Society as satisfactory. participants reported "we sometimes consider the institution as 'mother ".9 No 4.4 Satisfactory 79. Furthermore. In one group discussion. Sample clients are asked whether monitoring and supervision is useful. about 23.Supervision is an important element in improving the performance of microfinance institutions and to assess the demand and success of clients.8 85 .4 % of the clients were been supervised more than three times in one loan cycle. they suggest that more improvement is needed in monitoring and supervision. However.9 % of the women reported that Islamic Welfare Society’s staffs supervised them to assess the use of loans. about 92. Moreover. About 27.

3 No answer 11.5 % were household members and 22.4 Impact of Islamic Micro Finance at the Household Level It is expected that enterprises can benefit from microfinance program by improving access to their capital. production process and profit before and after taking loans.8 Three times 16. which helps them to expand their business. profit and create job opportunities to their households and the community. about 64.7 More than 3 times 27. Among these co-workers.8 No answer 4.8 6. Table 9 shows the impact of Islamic Welfare Society program on enterprises using impact indicators such as job opportunity.6 % were hired laborers. Through this expansion enterprises can increase production. Table 9: Impact on Enterprises (valid n=84) Indicators Responses Pe Any co-workers in your business Yes rce 37 nt 86 . where as 37 % responded that they have co-workers to help them in running the business before the loan.Number of supervision per one loan Cycle Not satisfactory 8.4 Conditionally 23.9 None 3. Most of the respondents (63 %) reported that members of the household ran their enterprises.6 Once 19 Twice 4.

7 No change 18. Increased help you before loan No 63 Relation of co-workers Family member 64. Increased 986. Hired laborer 5 22. The rationale of these societies is to provide Shari’ah based Microfinance to the targeted group – the marginalised 87 . Your business profit after loan Decreased 1 2. Conclusion This study highlights that Islamic Welfare Societies (IWSs) by providing interest free Shari’ah based Micro finance to the needy women. Others 613 Hired additional laborer after the loan Yes 27. 8 7. Your business increase job opportunity after loan Yes 7 54.0 Conclusion and Recommendations 7. The main objective of all Islamic Welfare Societies is to provide financial as well as non-financial services to the socio-economically excluded Muslims of the city. No 5 45. Business improvement after loan Yes 5 94.1. played a crucial role in enhancing empowerment and improving the livelihood of the marginalised Muslim women living in the old city of Hyderabad. No 3 72.3 Your business production after loan No change 13. No 7 5.

Muslims as well as their impact on livelihoods, savings, income and
The objective of this case study of Islamic welfare Societies is to
assess the impact of microfinance on the socio-economic inclusion of
poverty stricken Muslims. The study shows that IWSs are promoting
inclusion of marginalised Muslim women of Hyderabad by positively
effecting them both at household and enterprise levels. The results of
the study are summarized as below:

Income: The findings revealed that the average monthly income
of most women clients rose after they took loans from Islamic
Welfare Society. Similarly more than 65 % of women confirmed
that the overall household income increased due to Islamic
Welfare Societies’ program. However, the impact is more






households. The average monthly expenditure of active clients
shifted from the lower category to the next higher category
after joining Islamic Welfare Society program. The average
monthly expenditure of active clients was higher than the
incoming clients. Active clients have got more chance of
improving their diet than incoming clients. Almost half of
active clients indicated that their diet condition have improved
due to Islamic Welfare Society interventions. About 91.7 % of
active women reduced shocks from food shortage compared to
61.2 % of incoming clients in the last 12 months.

Living condition of Households: Microfinance provision
enables muslim women borrowers to spend on improved living
condition of households.


Access to Health and Education: However, Islamic Welfare
Society's intervention did not show a positive impact on


improving access to education and medical facilities to Muslim

Impact on Enterprise expansion: Islamic Welfare Society
program has a positive impact on enterprise expansion,
increasing job opportunities of the women . More than half of
respondents confirmed that their enterprise expansion increased







community. Large majority of respondents stated that their
enterprise capacity has improved due to Islamic Welfare
Societies’ interventions. Similarly more than 73 % of women
reported that their enterprises have been increased production
and net profit after they have received loans from Islamic
Welfare Society.

Saving: Most of respondents indicated that their overall saving
has been increased as a result their saving habits got developed.
Furthermore, Islamic Welfare Society’s program enhances
empowerment of women. Most respondents expressed that they
have equal power in households' decision making. Decisions
on the loan, loan usage and business profit is taken jointly by
the wife and the husband. About 92 % of respondents reported
that Islamic Welfare Society’s program has built their
confidence in decision-making.

7.2 Recommendations
Although Islamic Welfare Societies have a positive impact on the socioeconomic inclusion of the marginalised Muslims of Hyderabad city yet
following recommendations are presented for the socio-economic
inclusion of Muslim women:

The investigation indicates that although Islamic Welfare
Societies are providing training to women yet more training

is required as it is an important tool for capacity building.

Poor women borrowers are not aware of the modern
technology. They depend much on the traditional method of
production. Therefore, provision should be made to provide
demand-led and effective training on different aspects of
productive activities, credit management, environmental
pollution, nutrition and health care so that they become
more productive and take part in the development process
of the country.


The study showed that most of the women clients utilized
the money that they borrowed in the form of the loan from
Islamic Welfare Society and spent their borrowed money on
income generating activities. However there are some who
utilised their money on marriages and other social
ceremonies. Therefore, proper monitoring and supervision
is required so that they use their money in to income
generating activities only.


Information is a critical factor for any sound decision
making process. Incoming women clients stated that one of
the common reasons for not joining Islamic Welfare Society
program was lack of information about Islamic Welfare
Society. Thus, establishing advocacy and advertising
mechanism helps the institution to expand its outreach and
give an opportunity for possible potential beneficiaries.

The sum and substance is that Islamic Microfinance intervention is
economically empowering Muslim women by having positive impact on
both their household and enterprise levels. In order to help these poor
and deprived Muslim women Islamic welfare Societies have evolved
their own design and policies. They have also been successful in terms of


Women’s Empowerment And Demographic New And Gita Sen. “Conceptualizing Women’s Empowerment In Countries of The North. England.This implies that Islamic Welfare Societies play a significant role in the socio-economic empowerment of excluded Muslim women. Akhtar. Journal of Islamic Banking and Finance. Microfinance and Non-Financial Services: An Impossible 6. M. And then only they will be economically empowered in real sense. 191 . (1996). (2009). performance. P . Marriage? Private Sector Development. Partnership Financing of Microenterprises. 3(3). I L & Serres P.outreach. New Delhi. Batliwala. Education for Women's Empowerment. (1997). and in offering cost-effective approaches. ASPBAE Position Paper for the Fourth World Conference on Women. Practice and Prospects of Musharaka Financing for Small Enterprises in Pakistan. Asia-South Pacific Bureau Of Adult Education. Processes.(2000). International Journal of Social Economics. References Akhtar. But they still need to go a long way in designing their lending policies and strategies in such a way that the poor financially excluded Muslim women are transformed into financially included productive agents who not only participate but also contribute positively to the process of socio-economic development of the country in a bigger way. (1995). Beijing. reduction in the adverse selection of the borrowers. R.” In Harriet Presser Eds. Flores. York: Oxford. M R. S.

Planning Commission.(2011). (2006a) Social. Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India: A Report. (2007). N Delhi. (2001) National Human Development Report. Oxford University Press Karachi. Economic And Educational Status of The Muslim Community In India: A Report of The Prime Minister’s High Level Committee (Chaired By Justice Rajinder Sachar). IRTI. Household Schedule 1. D (2009). New Delhi.GOI (Government of India). New Delhi. Impact Assessment Methodologies for Microfinance: Theory. ROUTLEDGE. Office for Development Studies. Islam. Planning Commission . Working Paper. Experience and Better Practice. GOI (Government of India). Obaidullah. GOI (Government of India) . (2006b). Indian Human Development Report. IN D HULME & A THANKOM (EDS). GOI (Government of India). Report of The National Commission for Religious And Linguistic Minorities. (2000) . (Chaired By Justice Rangnath Mishra) Ministry of Minority Affairs. M. New Delhi.Oxford University Press.0: Consumer Expenditure. 55th Round: July 1999 – June 2000. Poverty and Micro Finance "Best Practices. MICROFINANCE: A READER. Reaching Extreme Poverty: Financial Services for the Very Poor. New Delhi. New Delhi. (1997). 92 .(2007).Socio-Economic Survey. UN Development Programme. GOI (Government of India). Haq. Institute Of Applied Manpower Research. NEW YORK Hickson. National Sample Survey Organisation. GOI (Government of India) . Human Development in South Asia. Hulme. Mohammed. (1999).

OECD. Accelerating Progress towards the MDGs through ProPoor Growth: Policy Messages from the DAC Network on Poverty Reduction. The socio-economic status of such families changed as the girls started sending home money and arranging jobs for their close relatives in Gulf. Here. Hyderabadi Matrimonial connection with the Arabs was first established in 1970s. Najmus Saher Associate Professor Dept. This situation encouraged many other poor parents to marry off their daughters to elderly Arabs. abandoning the There is a tragic legacy of Hyderabadi Muslim girls marrying elderly Arab men from Gulf Countries. the trend of contract marriage. and then go back to their countries. Many such alliances survived and flourished as the Arabs who married Hyderabadi Muslim girls took their brides along with them to their countries. of Edn. That is. This has brought happiness for some families but on the other hand. many families suffered a lot due to this practice. and this practice has become very common with marriage becoming a trade and women a commodity.OECD (2010). &Training MANUU taj_saher20@yahoo. Some Arab Sheikhs after marrying young girls paying a paltry sum of money. Paris Contract Marriages – A study in Hyderabad Dr. particularly in the old city. From the last decade. But there is a darker side of this story. 93 . I would like to present a few media reports on this issue. a new trend has emerged in some localities of Hyderabad. live with them for a short period of time.

. Most grooms are above 50 and the girls under 17. ran away from her home and told police that her parents were pressurizing her to marry a Sudanese man. The Telegraph 14th April. The amount paid will be from thousands to 2 lakhs depending upon the period of contract. 2011 Madannapet Police arrested an Arab Sheikh from Sharjah who came to Hyderabad for his fourth Contract Wedding . The Deccan Herald 11th October. A teenager. 2015 . Report by Dean Nelson. He paid 1 lakh. February 8. three Qazis who performed illegal marriages and introducer who facilitated the marriages. 2013. She and three other were introduced to him. the Muslim Cleric was suspended by the Minority Commission.. introducer and parents.. Then the girls were abandoned by their husbands.The News Paper ‘Nation’ Hyderabad Police busted a racket with the arrest of several people including brokers. Officials said that at least 5 to 6 minor girls are married to Arabs every week.. The Wedding Certificate came with the Talakhnama which fixed the terms of divorce at the end of the groom’s holiday. 94 . which was distributed between the broker. The girl filed a complaint against her parents. Qazi. Such media reports appear at regular intervals. Following a sting operation on Contract Marriages. Hyderabad.November 5. She is kept at Government home for girls and does not want to go back home as she is scared. Nousheen Tabassum. There is a huge network. The Qazis perform marriage secretly for a price although such marriages are declared illegal by the Waqf Board. 2012 IBN Live reported that police arrested three people including bridegroom and a Muslim Cleric who used to arrange Marriages. The Cleric and his associates used to target poor girls and get them married for six to eight months..

The girls have a series of Contract Marriages to fund their own genuine Marriage.  The state government should prepare new guidelines or review the existing guidelines for the Waqf Board related to the marriage of Indian girls foreign nationals 95 . Conclusion: It is nothing but trafficking under the garb of marriage. They were asked to alert the Waqf Board when they approach to perform such marriages but these guidelines remain on paper only. Suggestions  The National Commission for Women (NCW) is requested to take serious action for this practice and to evolve strategies to help the suffering girls and women to get free from the network. There is a need to look into this issue from the point of human trafficking rather than a case of marriage of foreign nationals. Waqf Board issued guidelines to Qazis not to straight away perform marriages involving foreign nationals specially those of gulf countries. The corrupt Qazis are ever ready to bend the shariat rules for monetary gains. In 2004. In most cases. there are 18 Qazis and they appoint ‘Naib Qazis’ who look after the Nikah and Divorce process. the incidents are not reported: only when there is a rift over payments.It has to be understood very clearly that contract marriages are UnIslamic. the guest house owners and the Qazi. The Waqf Board has to exert moral pressure and crack the whip against such Qazis. cases come into the light of media. This can be stopped by only breaking the nexus between the brokers. Under the jurisdiction of Hyderabad city Waqf Board. The rising dowry demands of local boys and extreme poverty are the main reasons.

 State Govt. should also have a keen eye on the activities of Qazi and if any Qazi id found to be indulged in the illicit protect. The reports of such committee should also be made public through media. This is highly appreciable but at the same time.M of Telangana state has introduced “Shadi Mubarak Scheme” for financially support of the poor families to get their daughter married.  Recently.  Since the main cause of this practice is poverty & illiteracy.  Committee should be formed to check the records of Waqf Board. so that the women/girl/other member’s of such families become self employed & improve their financial conditions. Prior permission from the authorities should be made compulsory for the Qazi if such proposal. to know the number of Nikhas perform and the divorces granted. either directly or indirectly he should be terminated from his services and punished severely. the contract marriages are illegal and un-religious. They can organise awareness campaigns to inform Muslim society that. the NGO’s can support such families by providing training in vocational trades. 96 . the honourable C. it is desirable that more welfare schemes be introduced for the rehabilitation of those girls already caught in th web and also to stop this practice further more.  NGO’s can play a vital role in the eradication this customary practice.  Conduct surveys in old city to identify the families with poor socio-economic and educational background. This will certainly help in identifying the corrupt Qazi. come to there before they perform Nikah.

During this period.Mainstreaming the Indian Muslim Women – The Way Forward. They belong to diverse classes. the mass of Indian women have been marginalized. skills. experience and energies through intentional actions and deliberate India will be completing seven decades of its independence soon. religious groups and communities. Despite recording high levels of growth in the last decade. It is essential to include women’s talents. 97 . It is recognized that women are not a homogenous category for planned interventions. It is also imperative to ensure access to economic benefits to women. Farida Hussain President AIWC Hyderabad faridahussain6@gmail. marginalization and exclusion. women continue to confront discrimination. There are some segments of women who face more disadvantages and confront specific deprivations within the overall context of socio-economic disadvantages faced by most Indian women. It is therefore felt that there is an urgent need for mainstreaming women’s issues in the country’s growth agenda. This disadvantaged state of women manifests itself in the form of feminization of poverty. in spite of the claim of “gender inclusive growth”.

who earn less than Rs. Most Muslim women remain invisible workers in the informal economy. They are amongst the poorest. encounter more challenges both as female citizens of India and as members of India’s largest minority. who constitute 13. Within this picture of marginalization and deprivation it is predictably certain that the corresponding socio-economic status for Muslim women is further skewed towards the bottom. To make this situation worse there is no segregated data available to assess their contribution to the Indian economy. Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee report highlights the deplorable socio-economic status of the majority of Muslims in India.Muslim women in India.48% of the country’s female population. Arjun Sengupta Committee’s report states that 85% of Muslims belong to the categories of “poor and vulnerable”. 98 . 20 per day. Dr. educationally most backward. economically vulnerable and politically marginalized group in the country.

Panchayati Raj institutions have no proportional Muslim representation. There should be proportional participation of Muslim women in the decision making process and governance at all levels.There is a need to sharply focus remedial action on issues intimately linked with the economic. The Election Commission of India’s statistical reports reveal that as far as representation of Muslim women in the Lok Sabha (the main policy making body at the centre) is concerned. There should be identification of factors that impact different groups of women differently. It is a significant lacuna in the empowerment of Muslim women since the legislatures hold a tremendous influence over the lives of these women and are key institutions capable of bringing about a change and mainstream the realities of Muslim women. their issues should be mainstreamed by government investment in policies and programs that open up avenues for their advancement. At macro-economic level. In seven Lok Sabhas there was no Muslim women member at all. there have never been more than 3 elected representatives in the House. At the grass root level. Even state legislatures are no better. The fact is that there has been notable lack of representation of Muslim women in elected bodies which are responsible for decision making at macro policy level. educational and social uplift of Muslim women. 99 .

However. the fact is that at the implementation level these instructions are ignored.Further. there is a need for mainstreaming budget allocation for the development of Muslim women. skill development. So far no specific allocations are made for minority women in the women’s development programs in general. This is also the case in notified minority districts (100 in number) from all over the country where special focused programs for the development of minorities are to be implemented. is insufficient. Special budgetary allocation should be made by the way of a sub-plan for them. have issued instructions to the commercial banks and lead bank officers at the district level to disburse loans to Minorities. Allocation of funds under the Ministry of Minority Affairs has also no component or sub-plan for Muslim women. It has been pointed out by many commissions that flow of funds to Muslim women in the composite programs under education. 100 . The revised 15 point program of the Prime Minister for Minority Welfare contains no specific sub-plan for Muslim women nor have budgetary funds been allocated for their development. health. Under the priority sector lending initiative. housing etc. apex banks like the Reserve Bank of India and NABARD.

Most Muslim Women are typically engaged in home-based. there is very little awareness among the lead bank officers as well as the would-be beneficiaries regarding this scheme. It has been found that bank credit can help them in the creation and sustenance of self-employment initiatives. subcontracted work with the lowest levels of earnings. Muslim women have rarely benefited from this scheme. The delivery mechanism for this should be strengthened. self-employed persons’ educational loans. State and District level should be collected. loans to small-scale businesses. Unfortunately. Community-wise. They work in the informal and unorganised sector and in rural areas as either wage labourers or at most as marginal farmers. 101 . It should be ensured that from District Level Bankers’ Committees to State Level Bankers’ Committees to the National Level. The priority sector includes agricultural loans. disaggregated data of the flow of credit at the National. comprehensive monitoring should be undertaken. A target of 40% of net bank credit for priority sector lending has been fixed for the lead banks of the areas in general and also in the 100 Notified Minority Districts identified on the basis of the concentration of Muslim population. There is urgent need to strengthen the delivery mechanism. loans to retail traders. It is to be ensured that an appropriate percentage of priority-sector lending in all the categories is targeted for the Minority Community. housing loans. and micro-credit.

102 . With a mix of bank credit and governmental subsidy on the one side and enabling access to education and skill development on the other. The government system at the grassroots should be made responsive to the needs of Muslim women. markets. All national policies and programmes should be made gender sensitive right from their inception stage to the grass root delivery stage and should prioritise the most vulnerable like Muslim Women as beneficiaries. technical training facilities. Access to low interest credit. Funds should be made available to expand schools. They should be equipped through improvement in educational opportunities through skill training/upgradation. Muslim girls and women can be brought into mainstream development. purchase lab equipment. construct hostel buildings and establish and strengthen vocational. Muslim women should be made capable of accessing the benefits of various schemes and programmes that are available for women in general.Moreover. technical training and skill development for home-based workers and entrepreneurs should be ensured. The challenge is to make Technical and Higher Education available to Muslim women and to link them to employment. Muslim women should be made capable of benefitting from the economic growth in the Nation. The surest way of enabling access to education for them is to establish Schools and Technical Institutions in localities and villages predominantly inhabited by them. Gender budgeting and gender outcome assessment should be encouraged in all Ministries/Departments at the Central and State levels.

This strategy is apt for making their concerns and experiences an integral dimension in the design.The time has come to mainstream Muslim women’s issues. policies or programmes in any area and at levels. monitoring of policies such that their backward status is not perpetuated. budgeting. implementation. Through mainstreaming their issues there will be scope for assessing the implications for them of planned action including legislation. 103 .

sabasuri@gmail. So is the situation with Muslim women. A woman throughout the history has been victim of exploitation. and thus are more vulnerable to abuse and are less able to protect themselves from discrimination.Empowerment of Muslim Women in India Shabana Kesar Asst. but also their right to equality with men in different aspects of social life. Their present status by and large reflects the dominance of traditional attitude. The women’s question is no longer an issue confined to the position of women within the family. Women constitute approximately half of the world’s population get they are placed at various disadvantageous positions due to the existing gender differences. 104 . resulting in their subordination throughout the history irrespective of socio-economic. women in India have not been emancipated from the age old tradition and customs and therefore they are unable to play any significant role in overall development. Since men and women are considered as two wheels of a society. demographic and religious differences. Professor Dept. An improvement in their present day status will not only contribute in the progress and modernization of the community but also the development and modernization of entire nation. In spite of various protective measures provided by the constitution. violence and discrimination. It is a broader question regarding socio political and economic development. Muslim women in India are the catalyst for development. vulnerable as compared to other women. Still today women are considered as secondary citizens. both wheels should work equally. Their emancipation may be a crucial step in the development of Introduction: Women in general and Muslim women in particular have been subjected to stifling oppression. of Women Education MANUU. in India.

a mother and in all matters Islam has given women their full rights. as they are neither opinion makers nor the decision makers. Although the Quran stipulates that both men and women are protectors of one another. The prophet of Islam also advocated for the same. Yet. Muslim women have played an important and historic role as scholars and leaders in education. It has safeguarded the status of women in many spheres and accorded to them the highest status. We know that Islam has granted many rights to women which had been denied to them in all the societies. In many cases Muslim girls are forced to marry at a very early age and thus kept at home instead of in the classroom. as the custom and tradition have always been a hindrance not only to progress. They are taught that their only role is that of a wife and of a mother and are discouraged from seeking educational and professional opportunities. Even though Islam emphasizes the right and importance of education unequivocally. Muslim women face restrictions in accessing education that differs greatly from one region to another. But. in practices we see that Muslim women are denied their rights. Too often identification of religion with social custom has precluded any idea of change. as a wife. property. still continue to be meaningful in our society. However. 105 . Islam grants an honorable position to women in society. the position of Muslim women is in fact miserable. The most tragic thing is that Muslim women have accepted happily and internalized the kinds of roles their men want them to live with. there are similar underlying challenges that Muslim women face in trying to receive education: one such example is the traditional patriarchal interpretation of Qiwamah. the concept of qiwamah has been used to justify various restrictions on women that in turn hinder Muslim women’s education. maintenance. access to education for Muslim women has been deeply severed. spoken about a century ago. employment or education. Keeping the basic realities and potentialities of males and females in view. He had said ‘while Islam has given equal status in law and religion to men and women.Profile of Muslim women in India: The words of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. the motion that men are guardians of Muslim women. be it a matter of marriage. The situation of Muslim women worsens. but also to correct interpretation of religion. literal equality of sexes is neither possible nor desirable as there are some basic differences in the two and as observation establishes both excel in their own respective fields. be it as a daughter. The situation is so worse that an unfortunate thing is that they are not even aware of their situation.

besides traditionalism.The other reasons responsible for misinterpretation of Quranic injuctions regarding women’s rights. The lack of social opportunities for Muslim women is a crucial issue needing urgent action. the Gopal Singh committee constituted by the government declared Muslims as a backward community in India. economically vulnerable and politically marginalized group in the country. Studies have revealed that Muslim women in both rural and urban India lag behind their counter parts in school enrolment from the very beginning. Even after six decades of independence. In 1983. are male bigotry. This educational disadvantage of women in Muslim communities calls for attention. Muslim women face considerable challenges as Indians and as the members of India’s largest minority. Contemporary Indian Muslim society is of course characterized by educational and economic backwardness and the position of women is much lower than that of men in both areas. is extremely poor in religious matters and she is not aware of her rights. Muslim women in urban India are more aware than their rural counter parts. especially women. No doubt progress is made. A central feature of this backwardness is their exceedingly poor socio-economic status. She is so non-affirmative that she cannot demand her rights even if she knows them because she completely depends on men. female illiteracy and ignorance and vested interests in maintaining the status quo in society. educationally disenfranchised. The Muslim share in employment is less than 3%. The knowledge of common men. but still many remain illiterate and a lot needs to be done to improve their condition. According to government reports Muslim women are among the poorest. particularly that of the Muslim women. 106 . and more and more Muslim women are acquiring education and gaining economic independence thus improving their status in family and society.

In this way. in reality she was never allowed to enjoy them both by local custom and the patriarchy. could never secure a platform from which she could exercise her rights and fight for regaining the lost privileges or seek improvement in the context of continuously changing conditions.It is also observed that Muslim women suffer problems associated with marriage including polygamy. The Muslim women on the other hand. 107 . It is not surprising that some of the Islamic provisions concerning marriage and divorce got distorted. consent at the time of marriage. the practice of triple talaq. An important question that arises is why did deterioration creep in the Muslim society and even gain ascendancy over Quranic laws. This was no ordinary socio-cultural transportation. In doing so the Muslim male was able to establish egalitarian man. the regional and customary laws began to prevail and the Muslim women became a non inheritor like other women. Marriage began to the considered as final and binding for a woman. and she virtually lost the freedom to divorce and her seclusion behind the veil got sanctified in the name of religion. While in theory she was supposed to enjoy the rights enjoined by the Quran. it was motivated since it was in the interests of the Muslim male. especially in a period when there was political supremacy of the Muslims. In the matter of inheritance too.women relationship & in India at least. and inheritance. maintenance after marriage and divorce. she became a victim of socio-cultural irony. having been pushed into seclusion and segregation. rather. never made any serious effort to loosen his grip. fixation of Maher. and bring about a similarity between Hindu and Muslim women.

A new book of Zoya Hasan and Ritu Menon (Unequal citizens: Muslim women in India. and obviously therefore. as well as the concentration of the Muslim population in the economically backward regions of the country. This is the first such survey of this magnitude covering the whole country.Another setback to Muslim women arises from the fact that Indian Muslims now live in a society where there still exist forces that are not quite willing to grant women the equality that they should get. and they are disproportionally represented among the poor and have the lowest per capita income indicators. This is ascribed not only to the lack of access to ownership but also to poor educational attainment and occupational patterns which show clustering in low paid activities. It does not in any way segregate women from development and empowerment. purdah is observed to safeguard one’s chastity and dignity and to protect oneself from evil onlookers. But perhaps even more interesting than the results themselves are the insights that are drawn in to the interplay of various factors that determine the conditions of Muslim women’s lives. 108 . Of course. the findings deserve attention. isolation and segregation have nullified the rights that have been granted to her. there are some easily predictable conclusions. holding that her seclusion. the low status of Muslims is now well-known. Oxford University 2004) presents the results of a national survey covering around 10000 Muslim and Hindu women. Vested interests continue and will not easily let go their dominance and privileges and it seems that the biggest stumbling block to the emancipation of women are men. Traditional prejudices and world-wide views persist. Some attribute this irony to the phenomenon of purdah. especially with respect to economic status. Many Muslim sections have supported the very wrong concept of purdah as seclusion and segregation where as in reality.

This may be less due to the patriarchal structures and patterns (rather than the religion) which inhibits mobility and lack of opportunity. may affect women’s work participation in direct and indirect ways. Two other features that are more specific to Muslim community may have operated to devalue continuing education for girls. In addition an early marriage is also a major inhibiting factor. The study found that 26% of educated Muslim women have illiterate husbands. which affects women’s nutrition and health status.The survey reveals many predictable assumptions regarding the low economic status of Muslim women of which one of the standard assumptions about Muslim women is that religion prevents them from getting more equal access to education. The first is that Muslim men also have very low educational attainment in general. which showed that they have less autonomy of decision making within their household. It is well known that the work participation of Muslim women is very low. The survey also affirmed that 75% of Muslim women needed their husband’s permission to work outside. it tends to reduce women’s autonomy and agency in the marital home. This low male educational level would create further pressures to impose ceilings on girl’s education. 109 . it is usually associated with high early fertility. and to create conditions of patriarchal subservience that get perpetuated through life and it thereby often reduces self worth. This in turn. Early marriage has adverse implications.

To assess the profile of Muslim women in regard to education and economy the NSSO and Sachar committee report provide a broad spectrum investigation into the socio. 5.1%. Muslims register the lowest work participation rate of 31. In 15 states. Asha Krishna Kumar points out that socio. 60% were married by the age of 17 and hardly 14% registered work participation. To discuss the educational status of Muslims in general and Muslim women in particular the data produced in census also indicates that literacy rate among Muslim women is 50%.3% and just about 14% of Muslim women are registered to participate in work.economic status of Muslims in India. Overall.economic condition of a majority of Muslims is worse than those of Hindus. The findings of the committee report emphasizes that Muslim women are double disadvantaged with low level of education combined with low quality of education. and the dropout rate is significantly high among Muslim women as compared to Hindu women and their Muslim male counterpart. Muslims have literacy rate of 59. In an informative article published in The Hindu in 2004. Muslim women are educationally backward.7% lower than the national average. Some 59% of Muslim women have not attended schools. the literacy level among Muslim women is less than 50%. Hardly half the Muslim women are literate. Awareness for change 110 .

The prominent factors are illiteracy. It is also felt that Muslim girls are exercising their right to consent at the time of marriage which was otherwise denied. With reference to employment also there are some positive changes. the fact remains that the rate of change is slow because of a number of constraints and problems faced by them which hinder them from achieving empowerment. family matters and thus achieve independence and empowerment. awareness is emerging among Muslim women about the importance of higher education. Their realization that Islam does not inhibit women folk from seeking employment outside is increasing their economic participation and independence. economic backwardness. Attitudinal change is significant and encouraging.economic status in India. It is heartening to see that several positive changes are taking place in the attitude and status of Muslim women. 111 . With the influence of considerably better educational background of the parents and other family members. employment. However. ignorance about the various government policies and provisionary measures for the minorities meant for their upliftment and empowerment.Though from above discussion we come to know about features and causes of Muslim women’s low socio. some studies have also shown considerable change in their status. but with reference to empowerment we can say that they are in transitory stage. employment and marriage. Muslim women are now aware of the importance and inevitability of education as a tool of change and development. They want to have their say and equal participation in decision making in important decisions concerning education of their children. and those who aspire for higher education and seek freedom to take their own decisions in the matters concerning education. In matters of family affairs also Muslim women are no more submissive and don’t want to reconcile to their fate and male domination. Conclusion and Suggestions.

3. politicians. 2. police and NGOs. Chaudhary. Vikas Publishing House. New Delhi. New Delhi. Ahmed Imtiyaz (ed. low social and economic participation. Ahmed Imtiyaz (ed. Finally. there is no doubt that the Muslim community at large will march ahead in the direction of progress and development and in turn Muslim women will realize the dream of equality of status and empowerment. New Delhi. Collaborative efforts of both center and state agencies should be implemented to improve the economic status of Muslim women. Caste and Social Stratification among Muslims in India. Strengthening human rights mechanisms by allowing the independent working of minority commissions is needed. Brijbhushan. Self empowerment of Muslim women can be done by addressing the reasons of poor educational status. Modernization and Social change among Muslims in India.In order to overcome the constraints faced by Muslim women to achieve empowerment.). 1980. Changing Values among Young Women.In Purdah and Out of it. 1983. 112 . From religious point of view reforms in Muslim personal law based on necessary interventions should be incorporated. Pratima K. 1983. Vikas Publishing House. 4. Removing stereotypes and prejudices against Muslims with the help of media and concerted efforts of social workers. 1998. In addition. Muslim women . Amar Prakshan. it is recommended that further research is needed on large scale on above lines. Jamil. Once these issues are addressed effectively. References: 1. Vikas Publishing House. Schemes for adult literacy for Muslim communities must be undertaken by the central and state governments in order to address the compelling literacy needs of Muslim women. a multidimensional approach is needed to address the root cause of their socio-economic backwardness. New Delhi.). scholarships for minority students should be instituted by the state governments.

Sharrif. Nasreen Fazelbhoy. ‘Sociology of Muslim in India:A Review’. Shakuntala. 7. Jhunjhunwala Bharat and Jhunjhunwala Madhu .46. 6.pp1547-51S 8. Minault.Tradition and Modernity among Indian Women. Jaipur and New Delhi Sachar Committee Report. Unequal citizens: A study of Muslim women in India. Devi.1998. ‘Socio-economic and Demographic Differentials between Hindu and Muslim in India’. Economic and Political Weekly.Rawat Publications. vol.p. Government of India 9. Secluded scholars : Women’s education and Muslim social reform in colonial India.1995. Gail. Zoya Hasan and Ritu Menon. Jaipur. Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community on India.OUP.5. Economic and Political weekly. New Delhi. Social. Prime Ministers High Level Committee.2948 10. 113 . 18th Nov.2006. Pointer Publishers. Indian Approach to Women’s Empowerment. Cabinet secretariat. OUP: New Delhi. 2004. Abusaleh. 2004. 1998.28thJune 1997.

we are discussing at this time. When I was a student of Madarsa. After completion of Madarsa education. I am the product of famous girls Madarsa Jamiatus Salehat of Rampur. I was also thinking of what would have been my future if the Madarsa teachers would not have allowed us to appear simultaneously for the matriculation and intermediate education.Girl Students of Deeni Madaaris and their Role in Mainstream Development Process Dr. so I have 25 years of teaching and administrative experience in Madarsa education. one in regular and another in distance mode. the lifestyle and standard of Madarsa. As a student.P. U. Nisa Research and Resource Centre for Women I am presenting this paper with my experience on Madaaris to which I am related directly and indirectly. Secretary. as a teacher and as an administrator. I also completed Matriculation and intermediate education. and after that I have been teaching in Madarsa and also established two Madaaris. I came back to Hyderabad and continued my education from Osmania University and successfully completed rest of the courses including PhD. It shows their concern towards 114 . Rafat Seema Gen. While preparing to present this paper here. I have different experiences and have seen a lot of change in the mode of education. my teachers prepared me in such a manner that along with Alima and Fazila course. This was the farsightedness of the Madarsa management four decades ago which thought of the importance of education.

As a Madarsa product I feel that I am in no way behind the women who have studied at the colleges and universities. There is a wrong concept and negative propaganda against the Madarsa institutions that they are far from the mainstream but the truth is different from this propaganda. If we look back at history. Coming back to the topic and discussion on ‘the mainstreaming the Indian Muslim women – the way forward’. medicine. Once in 115 .the Madarsa girl students to participate in the mainstream of life and fulfill their social responsibility. The Muslim women have successfully adopted the newly changing atmosphere along with protecting their cultural identity. politics. entrepreneurs. these students played a key role in Indian politics to build India into world’s biggest secular and democratic country. the students of Madaaris initiated the independent struggle. engineering. Journalism etc. I can say in straight forward words that Indian Muslim woman is moving forward by combating the challenges from different elements of the society. The Madarsa students also played an important role in building plural society of India. Just two examples of Moulana Hasrat Mohani and Moulana Abul Kalam Azad will suffice. NGOs. Even after the independence. fought for and sacrificed their lives against the British Empire to free the motherland India from their clutches. They were able to rise to such positions and became inspiration for the Muslim community and the real credit goes to their mothers who played the key role of imparting education to them: they themselves were educated so they were able to educate their sons. I can give innumerable examples of such Madarsa students who are playing a vital role and fulfilling their responsibilities in different walks of life such as education.

The government itself has framed syllabus in such a manner that there is domination of only one particular culture. But Muslim parents never stopped the education of their daughters and moved towards the Madaaris and the present situation is more girls are enrolled in Madaaris than in government schools.Ed. This is a grave mistake of the government that the school syllabus is not framed keeping in mind the composite culture of the society because of which the Muslim students and their parents are concentrating themselves on Madaaris instead of schools. I have noticed that the students who go to government schools face a type of discrimination in curriculum and co-curricular activities of the school. Because they think that without getting the Madarsa education the aim of their education is incomplete. M. are approaching Madaaris to complete their education.Ed.Hyderabad state. Broadly. which is now called Telangana there were numerous government girls schools and colleges. engineering. medicine etc. The girls and women who have completed professional courses such as B. This invisibility of themselves and their culture in school syllabus is fixed in the minds of students in such a way that those who have completed education from schools. Muslim families used to send their girls in those schools to get the education from primary to higher level. Particularly the Muslim girl students face discrimination due to the burqa as well which is part of their culture and identity. colleges are moving towards Madaaris. With this we can understand that they can make their way to “move forward”. they feel strange atmosphere because neither they see themselves in the syllabus nor they have their names in the co curricular activities. But unfortunately those girls’ schools were wiped out by the government and changed into co-education schools. Many girls are going to the government schools as well but they are facing problems in those schools. 116 .

The Madarsa now a days is a complete educational institution from where a student can get the knowledge of different subjects which leads them towards playing important role in mainstream life. In the present scenario especially in Hyderabad and other metro cities of India the concept of Madarsa has completely changed.Here I would like to present a fact that Madarsa is an Urdu word which means School in English. In contemporary times. In present times thousands of girls are studying in Madaaris. has recognized the importance of Madaaris and provided the benefits under the project. Though the Madarsa students are trying their best to join mainstream but they are facing problems from other side of the society as said earlier. There is a need of time to address the problems faced by these students from the other side. The aim of Madarsa education is to mould the student’s character in such a way that they can emerge as noble personality. the situation has changed. Now a days.e. The government of India by understanding the need of time. Every school which is run by Muslim management is a Madarsa and every Madarsa is a school. religious and modern education. But in our society this word “Madarsa” is related to religious education and the word “school” for modern education. But. the students have to work hard in gaining knowledge of both the education systems i. Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan and supplied the text books of 117 . Even some of the Hindu management schools are opting for this system keeping in mind the need of the majority of students in their school. It was the matter of past days that the students who completed their education in Madaaris faced problems in coming to the mainstream. some Madaaris are introducing distance education mode of learning as well. After completing their education from Madarsa they are leading a successful life and fulfilling their social responsibilities as well.

Mathematics. vocational training etc. The social problem of marriages of Muslim girls is also solved to a great extent because the girls studying in Madaaris get married off during the completion of their final course thereby their marriages are not delayed. arranged for their salaries. computer education. English. And this makes them easily empowered in different areas such as Urdu journalism. Social Studies and Urdu. Even the studies and research on Madaaris have revealed that the girls who study at Madaaris are equipped with more self confidence compared to the girls of modern education. and created provision to provide mid day meals. 90% of the allocated budget for this purpose is lapsed. 118 . the management of Madaaris are themselves providing all the facilities by mobilizing resources from their own community. trained teachers for teaching these text books. On the other side. three times meals. The text books are not provided in time and the salary amount is very meager and moreover it is not paid for over a year. The number of girls’ Madaaris is more than the number of boys’ Madaaris in Hyderabad. medical facility etc. But there are many lapses in implementation of this scheme such as redtapism which is a big hurdle for those Madaaris who want to utilize this scheme. clothes. teaching profession in their own country as well as at gulf countries and Islamic centers in western countries. The Madaaris also provide free shelter in the form of hostel. after reminding several times they pay amount of only ten months. The management of many Madaaris have also modernized their Madaaris by introducing better infrastructural facilities. Science. Most of the Zakat of the Muslim community goes to the Madaaris which shows the concern of the Muslim community towards the education of children. Due to the excessive paper work and tedious procedures and delay.

The above important issue can be understood and felt only by those Muslims who are working at the grass root level and cannot be understood even by the intellectuals. science or arts but it is enough for them if they have basic knowledge of these subjects. the Madaaris is playing this role in a better manner and on par with modern schools. As we do not expect the arts student to be perfect in science or maths. Nowadays the main aim of girls’ education is to empower them in different fields to meet the challenges of life. The role which Madaaris are playing is very important and precious because if these Madaaris do not take care of all the above discussed then the children of poor Muslim community will be seen begging or inclining towards criminal activities and the illiteracy rate would also be high. But the Madarsa form of education can be better if the government considers the following recommendations: 1.e. 119 . likewise one should not expect the Madarsa student to be perfect in maths. 2. but in fact they get other side of education as well. It is not true that the Madarsa students get only one side i. The negative impression among the people about Madaaris should go away because both the types of education i. religious education. Recognize the Madarsa education as a full fledged form of education. science. Discrimination between Madarsa and school should be avoided/removed as both are different words with same meaning. school and Madarsa provide formal education system. These students of Madaaris should be looked parallel with the students of arts.e. maths and English because it also depends upon the interest of the student about which field they want to choose and pursue.


Provide all the facilities which are provided to the government
schools and teachers.


Madaaris are still looked at with suspicion, this should be
stopped immediately. (Recently MHRD issued a circular to the
Madarsa management to take measures for detecting and
countering radicalization and deradicalization efforts). This
type of mindset in government agencies should be stopped


Allocated funds for the Madaaris should be properly and fully
utilized and the allocation should be increased in new budgets.


Mainstreaming of the Indian Muslim Women – Few
Dilnaz Baig
Women Rights Activist

I am thankful to MANUU, the National Commission for Women
led by Mrs. Lalitha Kumaramangalam, Mrs Shamina Shafiq and the two
very capable Aminas for inviting me to take part in this Colloquium of
“Mainstreaming Indian Muslim Women - The Way Forward”.
The subject is very dear to me as I work for little children 'young
girls and any women in distress, caste, colour, creed no bar. The woes
of women across the spectrum are the same and to address them, we
have to go to the root of the malaise.
Amartyna Sen’s study shows that 6 million women have been
killed that is more than both the world wars and even the holocaust did
not kill so many and every day 24 women are burnt I am sure the
percentage of Muslims is on part to their population for no fault of theirs,
perhaps because of dowry / being barren/ giving birth to a girl or flimsy
excuse that she is dark or thin.
How can we fight this menace?
We should educate the women but the men should also be
educated on the measures and appeal to their gallantry to protect their
mothers, sisters, daughters and wife.

The judiciary should dole

out punishments that are true deterrent like life 50 years imprisonment.
Muslim women who are divorced are rarely paid adequate
meher or maintance for 3 months.Perhaps when she got married her

parents must have given her husband 1 lakh and Jehez of bedroom
furniture, cooking vessels, gas and a scooter, all this in the lowest rung,
we can imagine with what difficulty the parents must have organized all
this. If instead they had done a back ground check and made their
daughters educated and employable, it would have been a different
story. A woman should be taught her rights given to her by the Indian
constitution; not only should she know how to use the Indian civil code
but know the rights bestowed by Islamic sharia. A prominent advocate
and social activist Mr Shafiq Mahajan in a recent statement said that the
mullas should consider giving the divorced women 20% of their wealth
i.e: property/provident fund/ salary/daily earnings. This should be
thoroughly processed by the ulemas and the judiciary.
A very sad state of affairs is the hidden shame of incest that is
rife in the slums as the small living spaces. The sad part is the mothers
stay silent to protect the men. The only way is to teach the children
what a good touch and a bad touch is and to make them to be a confident
/ a best friend and the teachers should be sound boards. The time has
come that women have to help themselves nobody can live in an ivory
tower and each one has to help another to survive to live an isolated
selfish life one is undermining the human spirit the more people you help
the more you grow as a humane


We should all become

responsible to all that is going on around us and not be a silent spectator,
at least we should use our lung power to get help for the distressed.
Girls should also be trained in self defense and taught how to
call the police for help.

A lot has been said about educating girls. A

woman who earns a viable income has the confidence to take on the
world as everything boils down to economics, she gains respect and
becomes a formidable entity.


the society around MLAs. Muslim women should be made to feel secure as she and hers have also helped India gain Independence to become a great country. I appeal to all my brothers as society cannot be whole without them that dare any one raise a finger to harm your mother/ wife / daughter/ sister that person will have you to contend with. rapes /beats/ kills. the judiciary. May you protect all the female race then you can call yourselves God’s blessed souls not the one who molests.The police. JAI HIND 123 . MLCs should be more approachable and aware and pro actively/sympathetically helpful.

A Grass Root Level Perspective 124 .Mainstreaming of the Muslim Women .

The issues/challenges of the Muslim women are many sided and closely related to the issues/challenges of the Muslim society as a whole.Need of the Muslim Women: The needs /demands are not so far removed from their nonMuslim counterparts the only difference being that it has a specifically religious bent. Why the need arises 125 . Muslim women are just a part of the whole Eg: Illiteracy is not just the women’s challenge but the entire community’s.

 Avoid media distortions.  Women leadership to be developed and the modern role models to be created  Involve influencing agents (religious heads) in the growth process with a focus on “retaining the cultural identity” of the women.1) Enfranchisement within the community To reap the benefits of development and also become a direct contributor to the development instead of just remaining the beneficiary of development. So far they have only been the beneficiaries of development (whenever development has happened) 2) Constant deprivation and vulnerability derived from the following sources  Cultural  Religious  Legal  Socio economic  Technological Recommendations :  The community needs to be addressed as a whole with male /youth inclusion.  Identify and use successfully implemented programs from the South Asian subcontinent.  Include Muslim women at policy level. 126 .  Create our own agendas and use global platforms to highlight the unique agenda of the Asian Muslim woman.  Technology should be used to leverage interventions.

But because of the prevalent social set up of Indian society. “He makes you. MRO. The Holy Quran describes the dignity of a mother in the following way. In fact.Empowerment of Muslim Women through Education &Training Qamar Jamali Retd. We have gathered here to discuss the issues regarding the ‘Rights’ of a woman which she is entitles from her birth. Ruku 1 verse 6 it is said: “He has made (Protection) you with their darkness in your mother’s womb”. The woman in Indian Society from the olden days is under the control of some one and she has accepted her obedience towards man as her fate. in stages. she is either deprived or unaware of her ‘Rights’. Islam is the religion which gives more privileges to women. one after another. and preaches Equality. Dist.” As such Prophet Mohammad PBUH. in the wombs of your mothers.T.S. Mahboob Nagar. Consequently the society has also confirmed her status as “bonded”. in three veils of darkness. In Surah “ALZAMAR” Az Zumar. Since the days of yore she has led such a life that she has accepted her bondage to be her ‘Basic Right’. said: 127 .

128 . Truly speaking a woman in society is a commodity which can be bought and sold. mandates.can not sustain Beautiful --. Yet she remains Incomplete --. Why talk about Islam only. sacrifice and die for her family. End their Your Mother”.can not resist Delicate---.“The most deserving person of your best behaviour and love is Your Mother. So Shakespeare has rightly said “Frailty ---. who can instigate sex.they save is women” “Frailty. Practically she is an instigator. See the irony that she has accepted this ‘Myth’ as her ‘Fate’ and feels secure in her self-made image. and sermons only. a maid who masters a shield against enemies of her family. In a simple way.needs a protection In short she needs a man to support her in every sphere of life. the answer is: (i) The first & foremost & fundamental need is Education.” Now the quest is how to break this myth. thy name is woman. This saying of Prophet (PBUH) reveals the ‘Dignity of Women’ in Islam. But unfortunately all the saying is left behind in books. who can love. Your Mother. in all religions women are adored. Your Mother.Half knowledge Weak ---. one who can give birth.

India has vast diversity. 47. According to 2011 Census: The Demographical figures of India’s population are. Its social. She shall be economically strong to get rid of the obligations that Man is the sole provider to her. To understand the problems. it is necessary to find out the reasons that allow them to happen.87% (Eighty point eight seven percent) Female literacy : 64.31. economical and cultural values are paradoxical and so are the problems. 05. 730 (Fifty eight point seven four crores) And the literacy level: Male literacy : 80.21.(ii) Secondly to make herself self-reliant. 69.843 ( Sixty two point three one crores) Female population : 58. Hence her “Empowerment through Employment” shall be sought out. Total population : 121. political. the Socio-Economic conditions that resist her. This is possible if she treats herself as equal to man. Reasons: Let us find out ways to sort out these problems.64% (Sixty four point six four percent) 129 . 573 (One twenty one point zero five crores) Out of this male population : 62. such as the contemporary challenges in which she survives. 74.

146 (Four point : 4. State Total Population : 8. Even today this saying can not be ignored since rural population at present is three times more than the urban population where literacy level is very low. 777 (Eight point : 4. 38. the demography is: A. 067 and the rural literacy is: 67. It is very necessary that when we think about the development and empowerment of women. the rural population is : 5. 54. 42. 80. 130 .25% which is not so disappointing. 24. If we restrict these figures to the undivided Andhra Pradesh state.The difference between both levels is 16. Strategies: We are thinking about mainstreaming the Muslim women. Accordingly the strategies shall be to find out the reasons that hinder Muslim women from stepping into the mainstream in the prevalent social set up of the Indian society. 45. 62% Gandhiji said that the real India lives in villages. especially Muslim women then we should think about rural Muslim women in India.631 (Four point four five crores) Out of this male population two four crores) Female population two one crores) Of these figures. 01.P. 21.

By this time they shall however Moreover simple academic education doesn’t help them to accept the challenge of life. Muslim girls are not permitted to continue education after attaining the age of adolescence. Improper Adult Education in Rural Areas. So also there shall be programme for post-matric education as Muslim girls are not permitted to continue education after attaining adolescence. Therefore technical and professional education may be promoted at mandal levels so that Muslim girls may not have to go at distant places in pursuit. Early Marriage which affects their self confidence. 4. 3. 2.1. Consequently child labor should also be restricted. complete matriculation. Empower NGOs Recommendations:  Post Matric Education The government should establish bridged-schools for the dropouts to enhance the literacy level among Muslim women. 5.  Awareness Programmes: 131 . Economic Empowerment to Eradicate causes of infeasibility of marketing.

Papad. Their self confidence must be strengthened so as to make their mind free from male chauvinism. since they prefer to sit in front of TV and get entertained. they can make miracle out of their little home talents. making ‘Achaar’ Badiyan. boosting in them self confidence and self reliance.  Improvement of Night Schools: Often it is seen that only old aged ladies attend adult education centre where they are taught to write their names. Weaving Ropes out of the jute and making toys of clay etc. Their skills get trained and they get the chance to promote their products. They shall be made aware of their right and the setbacks of early marriages. Therefore some morality based entertainment activities that boost their knowledge shall be introduced in these centers to attract all age group people irrespective of age & gender. Women who are involved in family life do not come to night schools. Most of the Muslim women are talented in their skills. They are well versed with painting fabrics. 132 . embroidery. made acquainted with alphabet and figures and taught signature so as to avoid exploitation and forgery against them.Awareness programmes shall be organized at Mandal levels.  Marketing Through Self Help Groups: Muslim Women observe ‘Parda’ or ‘Hijab’ and do not prefer to go selling their handicrafts or products.

These NGOs make good support with people which helps sorting out rural problems. The government shall consider seriously on these points. as is done in Gujarat where people do not go home to home to sell milk.Therefore. The policy or Haftwar Bazar shall be enhanced by self help groups.  Empower NGOs Role: It is seen that social development tasks are more conveniently taken up by NGOs rather than government machinery. having prominent backing with banks. 133 . There are certain huge type of NGOs. Yet there are certain others struggling for existence and shall be uplifted. on the contrary the co-operative society agent collects at their door-step. so also the practice for all commodities shall be promoted. These are the few strategies and recommendations for helping the Muslim women in mainstreaming.

studies. urbanization leads to sophisticated modern life. The strength of determination and conviction is needed to be provoked. It 134 . It shows the major minority of the nation is in distress. An agonizing fact is socio-economic condition of the heirs of those relics is either partially or completely seized up after Independence. Hyderabad an emerging cosmopolitan city has 42% of Muslim population. The prejudice.Drop out of Muslim Girls . leads to drop out of Muslim girls. The city has no proper access for the education of girl-child. The question “Mainstreaming the Indian Muslim Women” can not be answered until the educational backwardness is completely eradicated from the life of Muslims. Particular surveys.Reasons & Remedies (A Study with Reference to School Education in Hyderabad) Ruqia Taskeen Senior Teacher & State Resource Person. By September 2014 it has been identified that 35% of Muslim girls are drop outs. which in turn bribed them to educational backwardness. rafiuddinruknuddin@yahoo. A survey by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) official shows that Muslim girls’ education facilities are at the lowest. Constitutional rights executes that every child has right to attain education either in the regional language or in his own mother tongue. We do not study and take notice of those bright and distinct foot prints that we see on our way as the relics of our glorious past. observations and monitoring report of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan since 2004 and onwards show the agonizing fact behind the drop out of Muslim girls during the mid-way educational process. Hyderabad.

135 . When students are forced to avail the provision. This Results in 17% drop out at upper primary and 18% at primary school level. failing to fulfill the educational needs of a particular community. Anxiety. lack of interest. upper primary at 3 km and high school must be within the radius of 5 km of habitation. a child has the right of likes and dislikes. By 2013-14 maximum number of upper primary schools have been merged with high schools which again are located at the radius of 5 km and beyond or at scattered places. loss of self confidence is being created in the students by delayed provision of books and other amenities. Uniforms and Mid-Day meals which are being provided reflect other customs and traditions. Uniforms. they drop the education at the mid of the educational process and Muslim girls cannot clad other traditional dresses. Even when school is established in catchment area. regional language becomes the criteria. Following custom and culture is the fundamental right. Discouragement. Government amenities such as Books. clad the uniform. Provision of uniforms as per the culture lead to flourishing self confidence and discipline among the students. MHRD norms state that primary school must be located within the radius of 1km.. are the key factors to enhance the pace of retention in the government a point of concern that greater part of the major minority of the nation is still deprived from attaining education on proper access in their own mother tongue among them Muslims. does not exist in the habitation. It is ones own life. Mid-Day meals etc.

Desire and determination of attaining education is being swallowed by the giant of poverty.Studies of SSA show that another reason behind drop out is Muslim girls and women do not get equal opportunity for education and development. A clear cut demarcation is that mothers play a prominent role in the education of girl-child. As a whole 85% of mothers are either illiterate or less educated whereas study show that 90% mothers are literate in other communities. cultural rituals like early marriage. 200 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidylaya (KGBV) and different girls hostels been established. Whereas SCs-BCs are admitted in the minority residential schools (Ibrahimpatnam-Hyd). The most important and well known fact for dropout is taking care of siblings at home-customs. establishment of KGBV’s within the radius of particular habitation will be somewhere fruitful. It’s a known fact that Muslim girls are not sent to distant hostels. A survey shows 46% of mothers are illiterate and 39% of mothers are below IX standard. social condition of Muslim community completely diminished and is lagging behind in the educational process. to support economic condition of home. and social insecurity. Eradication of poverty cannot be achieved until the whole of the community attains complete literacy. If we want to draw transition. As stated earlier. Security assurance which satisfies the parent can be turning point: the point which shuffles us is minorities are not allowed to be admitted in the SC-BC residential schools. 136 . marriage to elderly expatriates. Besides being this girls hostel must be supervised by female warden not the male warden. transition in the community cannot be seen. A matter of concern is that only few Urdu KGBV’s and girls hostels at the outskirts and scattered places are established. but when mother herself is down trodden.

 Right to compulsory and free education (RTE) must be implemented. During this survey 85. As the time passes the number is reaching to the extreme levels. proper distribution centers of 137 .  Under constitutional Fundamental Right i. It has been an unavoidable urgent need of the day to take specific measures.  Sense of optimism.  As per the MHRD norms every habitation and catchment area must be furnished with a government primary. self confidence. It is suggested to be worked in reality. According to RTE each and every child has right to get free and compulsory education as per their custom and tradition.  Appropriate number of KGBVs and girls hostels must be established within the accessible radius. mid-day meals etc. upper primary and high school of concerned mother tongue. Recommendations:  Sense of self-respect. It has been identified that 8. counseling and training.  For the provision of government amenities such as books. uniforms.e.Involving nine NGOs a special survey for Hyderabad was conducted during 2011-2012. “Equality and Social Justice”.000 children either never enrolled or are drop outs. Out of this figure only 2. zeal and enthusiasm must be created among the girls for the making of sublime and multi dimensional personality. through proper orientation.000 crores of budget have been sanctioned for the cause of Muslim minority.000 could be admitted to schools. social prestige being the sense of integral part of the nation must be ignited among the major minority of the nation.000 houses were visited.  This financial year 62. monetary assurance. discipline.. girls must get equal opportunity of education.

number of books accordingly to the students. concerned language officer with the sense of responsibilities and accountability must be scheduled.  Private schools must be accountable to the higher officials for RTE.E) programme of SSA must be restarted.  Such evening tuitions must be scheduled in the habitation which can prepare the future mother with pleasant blend of tradition and talent.books.C.  Law and order must not be at the bay of communal feeling. Provided amenities must reflect the same to boom the self confidence among the students. Each habitation and school must be under constant surveillance of the law and order officials. Fundamental right provides the opportunity to follow customs and culture.  Anganwadis which are practiced must be provided with Urdu speakers and Urdu teachers.  138 Sensible and sincere step forward hopefully get transition .  Social security to women and girl must be provided. The system needs witty monitoring body. Such a perception is needed which enhances the confidence over law and order.  According to RTE 25% of students must be admitted without any donation and fees in the private schools.  Early Child Education (E.  Adequate counseling centres for the parents particularly for mothers must be in practice which prepares them with moral values and needs of the day. as it enhances the pace of admission in government schools and declines the drop out rate.  Uniform and mid-day meals provided need second look.

but till few years ago majority of Muslims did not give importance to women’s education. posters. Otherwise if we look from the Islamic angle. Evolving Role of Women in Muslim Societies Kaneez Fathima Jt. marginalized. In India they follow the majoritarian culture and implement those on their womenfolk. not independent. Islam does not allow taking and giving dowry but Muslims practice it. there are women in Islamic history who were educated teachers and entrepreneurs etc. Islam stresses on easy marriages. You look at the advertisements. but Muslims complicated it. it is somewhere in the Muslim community due to whom Islam is blamed. Hyderabad. Women in all communities and societies face problems. Islam as a religion does not have any defect. In the present time. Secretary Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee. class. religion. marriages. for ex. Islam obligates education for all men and women. child producing machine and what not! In fact here I would like to stress that Islam and Muslims are two different entities. passing 139 . the mindset of men is so bad that they look at women as sex objects. education etc. not because of their religion but the particular mindset of the society as a whole. dowry. etc and most recently the statements of law makers and parliamentarians. As civil liberties activist I have observed that all women have same problems and hurdles irrespective of caste. banners. slaves. It is very easy for the people to say and generalize that women in Islam are suppressed. I am presenting this paper here with my experience in the activism field. Hazrath Ayesha was a teacher and established a Madarsa and Hazrath Khadija was a rich and successful business woman during the time of the last prophet.

remarks and orders women such as . Muslim women are allowed to get higher education being in burqa. acid attacks etc. The main reason for this is the discrimination towards the Muslim community at all levels and sectors. Take my own example. Parents’ awareness to educate girl child has also increased and they are encouraging their daughters and sending them to schools and colleges. sexual harassment. This kind of mindset has to be changed and treat woman if not as equal atleast as human beings. are teachers. doctors. why? After availing higher education. fashion designers. Even though burqa is not a hurdle for Muslim women they consider it is their identity and part of culture. but by all means this is taken as an opportunity by Muslim women to gain education and employment. architects. Coming back to the topic we are discussing about mainstreaming of Indian Muslim women. It is common even at the higher educational institutions. Muslim women are struggling hard from all aspects to move ahead especially in the areas of education and employment. interior designers and many are activists as 140 . some have opinion that this is a hurdle. do not move out during evenings alone etc. no one talks about solving the problems of victims of rape. wear such and such type of clothes.D at EFL University. These men do not look and treat women as human beings. being an activist I have observed that the main hurdle for Muslim women to move ahead is ‘poverty’. Muslim women are reaching at higher levels. even after court’s interim order to put on hold the admission (I work in the Library at EFLU and had applied EOL to pursue PhD) and request to keep my admission in abeyance. Many are politically active.produce more children. engineers. the administration denied leave and cancelled my admission without intimation to me. In spite of these kinds of hurdles. the other part of the society have problem with it. I had got admission in Ph.

some aspire to be enrolled in government sector as well as in various other sectors. illegally confined and tortured and later shown arrested in the false case of Makkah Masjid bomb blast and twin blast. the contemporary Muslim women are more knowledgeable. many Muslim youth in Hyderabad were picked up.well. which is inspiring women at grass root level and those women look at these women activists as their role models and are moving ahead. This is the reason that in these times you find the percentage of educated Muslim women greater than the percentage of educated Muslim men. Comparing present Muslim women with earlier women. These were the youth from poor family background and they were the only bread earners for their 141 . In such circumstances it is the responsibility of the government to provide all facilities so that the Article 21 of the Fundamental Rights can be implemented in its real spirit. I want to present one important example from my experience as civil liberties activist: as you all are well aware that during the years 20072008. Right to Life with Human Dignity which means safety and security. In this era of media and technology. Some aspire to have own business. knowledge of political and legal systems etc. Muslim women are themselves coming forward in various fields and struggling hard to be in the mainstream. only then the real spirit would be fulfilled and women can be empowered in the real sense. For example: If a woman is working in Media/IT sector/medical sector and returns from work at late night she should be able to reach home without any fear and without depending on others. possess high spirit of struggle for their rights. i. In the case of empowerment and awareness among Muslim women. no one can stop women from acquiring knowledge.e.

wives all came out and fought for the release of their kin. the contribution of Muslim Women is not completely visible. the other part of the society which does not recognize and isolate Muslim women from the mainstream is the major reason that they are not visible in the mainstream. they raised their voice against police atrocities and demanded justice for their innocent kin. public meetings etc. Because of discrimination at socio–cultural and political level. the women of these youths – sisters. 142 . The only solution is to end the discrimination. mothers. When we held press conferences. It should be remembered by one and all that women rights are human rights. demonstrations. They fought to the extent that they succeeded in acquittal of false charges against the youth. and later the government tendered an apology to the whole Muslim community for the wrong deeds of their police justice cannot be done towards Muslim community and Muslim women will not be visible in the mainstream. Until and unless such kind of double standard prevails. In those bad times. I would like to conclude that accusing Muslim community for the backwardness of their women is injustice.

co. The subjugation or subordination of women in all spheres of life.Role of Media in Empowerment of Muslim Women Rasia Nayeem Hashmi PhD Scholar Dept. India is one of the largest democracies in the world having one of the largest minorities. Status of Muslim Women in India. Hence bringing women into the mainstream of development has been the major concern of the government ever since India became independent. A number of reports concluded that Muslims are the most deprived and marginalised communities in India. As stated by Hajira Kumar in her book. the problems faced by them. the Muslim woman faces cumulative and multiple exclusions. have been the subject of much Introduction: Empowerment is a process aimed at changing the nature and direction of systematic forces which marginalize women and other disadvantaged sections in a given context. empowerment of women. of Women Education rasiahashmi@yahoo. marginalised and oppressed because of various gender divide issues. Given that the Indian Muslim women are called minority within minority.” Muslim women are discriminated. with its many flexible arms which entrap and suffocate its victim. 143 . This is so because they share the general problems which other Indian women face and at the same time have their peculiar disadvantages. In case of Indian Muslim Women. these problems are multiplied. being a woman on one hand and a Muslim minority on the other. Country’s overall development depends greatly on the inclusion of women in its development process. “The problems and issues concerning women are like an octopus.

subjugation and abuse in home as well as outside. domestic violence. economic security and access to educational and political power. etc. dowry harassment. Types of empowerment 144 . 59% Muslim women have not attended school. discrimination. abuse of certain Islamic practices against women. of India. The marginalization of Muslim women owes to a host of factors including illiteracy. it was found in a study done by this researcher that 48% of the respondents told that divorce is the condition mostly negotiated during the process of marriage settlement while only 25% respondents said that Mehr is negotiated during the process. Media can make the Muslim women realise that they also have constitutional rights to equality. health care. male hegemony. women’s ignorance of their rights. However empowerment of Muslim women is possible by creating awareness among them and educating them through media. This shows the poor educational status of Muslim women. According to the report of Planning Commission of Govt.Muslim women have been suppressed by the male dominated society taking undue advantage of their lack of education and poverty. This is evident from the fact that although dowry is not an Islamic concept while Muslim women is entitled to ‘Mehr’ a marital gift. Key issues and problems affecting Muslim women Women continue to be the victims of exploitation. Since media plays a vital role in shaping public opinions they can not only bring a change in the lives of Indian Muslim women but can also change the attitude of millions of Indians (including men they come in contact with) towards Muslim women. due to their ignorance of the law as well as from lack of will to assert their rights. These factors affect them negatively and hinder mainstreaming of Muslim women. gender discrimination.

2. 4. special campaigns to motivate the parents to send their children to schools need to be launched. either as an active participant in politics to take up women’s cause or as a decisive voter using her franchise to choose a leader who ensures redressal of the situation faced by Indian Muslim women. Social empowerment: Media. Political empowerment: Muslim woman’s contribution in the field of politics needs to be increased. There is tendency to hold back the girl child at home to help in domestic chores and to take care of infants while elders go out to work or in the belief that what will the girl do with education? To remove the scourge of illiteracy among the Muslim women. Education is the greatest and only weapon through which Muslim women can rise up to claim their rightful place in their society. Constitutional Provisions 145 . Economic empowerment: Economic empowerment of women is possible only when financial independence is achieved. 1. both print and electronic. can help women to communicate their needs. Mainstreaming of Muslim women will not be a reality unless and until the media plays a crucial role in the empowerment of women by creating awareness among the people to shed the patriarchal mindset that subjugated Muslim women.Empowerment of Muslim women can be discussed under the following headings. 3. Educational empowerment: Lack of education has been identified by one and all as the single most important cause for backwardness of Muslim women.

During marriage. She can spend it in any legitimate manner as she may desire. Islam recognised the economic rights of women.300 years before the west gave economic rights to women. Unfortunately most of the Muslim women themselves do not know what exactly are the rights bestowed to them by their religion. 2. If a woman earns any income from investment or work or engages in business during her marital life. the income is entirely hers and she is not entitled to spend a single penny on the household. Right against exploitation. 1.Muslim women should know that they have been guaranteed certain rights by the constitution of India which includes. Cultural and educational rights. In case of divorce or widowhood there are certain financial guarantees for women like complete and full 146 . she is entitled to a marital gift (Mehr) from the husband which is entirely hers and she does not have to give this gift to her husband or father and she can do anything lawful with it. etc. Right to freedom. Right to equality. A big gap exists between the true teachings of Islam regarding women and their projected image in the media. Spiritual Rights: Islam has the concept of equal reward and equal accountability to men and women. Rights given by Islam The issue of women in Islam is a topic of great misunderstanding and distortion partly due to misconceptions and partly due to misbehavior of some Muslim men which has been taken to represent the teachings of Islam. Economic Rights: More than 1. Right to freedom of religion. Any woman has the right to possess or to own or to dispose any of her own property in any way she feels fit irrespective of whether she is single or married. The rights of women in Islam can be discussed under the following headings.

right to be treated like a partner with love and dignity by husband. Why only Muslim women. 4. Political Rights: Both men and women are allowed and should participate in public affairs in the interest of society. Media has a prime responsibility towards the redressal of the situation faced by Indian Muslim women. However the ‘mainstream’ media can be accused of being largely indifferent to the question of Muslim women’s problems and the need for their substantive empowerment. if she is pregnant. male or female. Hence there is need to create an awareness among Muslim women about their fundamental rights. then till during the waiting period and thereafter.” 5. Legal Rights: Men and Women are treated equally under Islamic law. 3. to acquire knowledge. right to seek divorce. If she has any children she is entitled to child support. There should be no partiality in bringing up of sons and daughters. 6. Conclusion Significant improvement can come in their status only when Muslim women become aware of their social. She possesses the right to choose a spouse. In a study 147 . right to be looked after and respected by children. The rights of husband and wife are equal in all respects except in the aspect of leadership in the family. Educational Rights: According to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) “It is obligatory for every Muslim. economic and political rights guaranteed by the constitution as well as their religion. media is indifferent to the question of women’s problems irrespective of religion. Social Rights: Muslim woman is entitled to right to live (infanticide is forbidden in Islam).

Fill information gap. 1. Hence awareness regarding such schemes must be created using electronic media as illiterate women do not have access to print media. Campaigns should be organised by media both print and electronic to create awareness among Muslim women regarding their rights and also to create a social climate favourable and susceptible to varied Muslim women’s issues. to other issues was 16:84 and preference was given to women in films and beauty contest. Major issue such us education was given a back seat by giving least coverage of just 0. Developmental journalism can come to the rescue to highlight Muslim women’s problems and to guide them to their constitutional and religious rights. Special thrust on the development of Muslim women is needed. 2. The image of Muslim woman portrayed in mainstream media is a submissive stereotypical image.5%. Media can play an importance role in empowering Muslim women by focusing on the following points. I found that the ratio of space given to women’s issues and problems. Atrocities done to the Muslim women and discrimination faced by them should be brought to public through media. Highlight Muslim women’s problems. 148 . Information about the schemes run by government is just not available at the ground level with the result that women are unable to take advantage of them. Report news and stories from feminist perspective. 3.conducted by this researcher on ‘Coverage of women’s issues in four major dailies of Hyderabad’. Addressing Muslim women’s empowerment requires strategic interventions of media programming and policy making.

Launch campaign to guide them in their constitutional. they are also about men and their attitudes. to motivate them to participate in the development of society. Suggestions Gender sensitive dailies or weeklies on the lines of Khabar Lahariya and programmes along the lines of Satyamev Jayate need to be launched to create awareness among Muslim women regarding importance of education. Produce and disseminate news and information effecting Muslim women. 149 . Sensitize government and society by publishing Muslim women oriented studies and surveys.4. legal and religious rights. legal and religious rights. to make them aware of their constitutional. 7. We should not forget that women's rights are not just about women. 5. It may look strange but it is more important to sensitize men on rights of women than to make women aware of their rights. 8. Raise Muslim women’s awareness regarding importance of education. as it is the men who violate women’s rights. to create awareness among the people to shed the patriarchal mindset that subjugated Muslim women and to sensitize the society on Muslim women issues. Last but not the least! Sensitize the community about Muslim men's role in Muslim women's issues. 6.