GEMS (Gender, Empowerment, Mobilization, Sustainability): Initiatives from the Global South

A series of six webinars that feature experts leading innovative programs that address poverty, women’s rights, environmental injustice, and socioeconomic development in South Asia.

Webinar #1: Muslim Women’s Quest for Legal Justice
September 21, 2023, 11:30 am (ET)

Dr. Noorjehan Safia-Niaz
Founder of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA)

Despite efforts to educate and economically empower Muslim women in India, they continue to be marginalized and disenfranchised due to patriarchal systems that significantly impact personal law—marriage, divorce, inheritance and custody issues. To address these legal concerns, Dr. Safia-Niaz founded the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) as a national platform for Muslim women to present an alternative progressive voice. In this webinar, she addresses the strategy that BMMA uses to empower Muslim women in India and assume leadership roles in their communities

About the Speaker

I have been working on issues of Muslim women since the last 28 years in various capacities, diverse institutions and have fulfilled different roles. Knowledge activism through capacity building, training and enabling women’s leadership has been my area of expertise. I have been able to play a key role in getting a legislation against triple divorce impacting lives of 80 million Muslim women, reversed anti-women decision of the Haji Ali dargah enabling access for women into sacred spaces, enabled women to become formally trained qazis thereby entering a long held male bastion and worked consistently for the socio-economic and educational development of the Muslim community. As I move into the future, I aspire for a gender-just world and specifically work towards codifying the Muslim family law in India.