A minority women’s workshop was organized by CSSS, Mumbai in collaboration with Safar, Ahmedabad to train women activists working on the issues relating to Muslim women in Gujarat. The workshop was conducted on 13th and 14th August, 2014 and around 50 participants participated from different parts of the state.


The participants came from minority, Dalits and Hindu communities and across all age groups. The sessions were planned around the rights of Muslim women in Quran, identity of Muslim women today, violence against them and its impact, their rights under the Constitution and state schemes or policies for minorities. The workshop was very rich in its interactions and overwhelming when the participants shared their experiences of living in lawlessness under oppression.


Maulana Shoaib Koty had a brain storming session on the rights of Muslim women under the Quran when he asserted the rights women have in regard to their mobility, triple talaq, mehr, iddat, polygamy practiced by men. The participants participated with lot of enthusiasm and asked openly all their doubts. Next Adv. Irfan Engineer in a very interactive session dealt with the topic of the identity of Muslim women in international context and made the participants reflect on all the stereotypes that taint the picture and identity of Muslim women and how due to various factors they are strengthened and internalized. Janisar explained in all essential details and from his rich and hands on experience, the intricacies of the schemes like pre matric and post matric scholarships that the minorities can avail of. He pointed out the opportunities and problems in these schemes. Dr. Mehrunissa Desai illustrated how Muslim women face violence and how awareness, economic independence, education and organization are key to their empowerment. Adv. Sophia Khan spelled out the rights of women under various laws which can protect them in marriage or maintenance.


The feedback for this workshop was very positive with the participants wanting a holistic and comprehensive study material spelling out accurately the rights of women under the Quran. They also thought that such workshops must be organized where men and Maulanas participated as participants. And such workshop must take place more often. Thus the future plan was chalked out where such workshop will take place again next year with meticulous study material on Quran.

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