If changes were to be made to the positions taken on reforms to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1951 (MMDA) by Muslim Members of Parliament on 11th July 2019 it should have been for the betterment of Muslim women and girls. Alarmingly, MPLRAG reliably learns that the document forwarded to the Ministry of Justice from the Ministry of Muslim Affairs on August 6th 2019 with revised decisions of Muslim MPs, contains highly problematic positions. It is utterly disappointing that Muslim MPs have backtracked on some of the previous progressive positions of 11th July.
Appeals to MPs from women’s organizations to improve on the decisions of 11th July have gone unheard. It is devastating that pressures and threats from conservative community groups, mainly the All Ceylon Jamaiyyatul Ulama (ACJU), against reform have triumphed over principles of equality and justice and basic fundamental rights of Muslim women. Below are a comparison of the different positions held by Muslim MP’s in July and August and our comments and observations.