• Gender Policy;
  • Women's Rights;
  • Minority Rights;
  • India;
  • Muslim;
  • Communalism;
  • Deeply Divided Societies;
  • Judicial Politics—India;
  • Muslim Personal Law;
  • Religious Autonomy;
  • Comparative Politics

Granting legal rights to groups in deeply divided societies is important and necessary, but the cost of awarding these rights—in terms of their negative impact on civil rights, and particularly on women's rights—are key issues affecting the politics and policy of diverse polities. The article explores the implications for Muslim women of applying minority autonomy in India. In parallel, it delves into India's policy of religious autonomy for minorities as viewed by the political and legal authorities, and through the eyes of different sectors of the minority community. Analyzing the complex construction of rights within a communalized polity, this article attempts to transcend the ongoing debate on the implications of Muslim Personal Law in India and suggests policy directives aimed at empowering minority women. The Indian case provides a constructive microcosm for studying these tensions comprehensively and comparatively, and holds important lessons for other multicultural societies worldwide.

Related Articles

Harel-Shalev, Ayelet. 2009. “Lingual and Educational Policy toward ‘Homeland Minorities’ in Deeply Divided Societies: India and Israel as Case Studies.” Politics & Policy 37 (5): 951-970.

Pearson-Merkowitz. 2012. “Aqui no hay oportunidades: Latino Segregation and the Keys to Political Participation.” Politics & Policy 40 (2): 258-295.

Sisk, Timothy D. 1992. “Divided We Stand? Institutional Choice in Divided Societies: Designs for Democracy.” Southeatern Political Review 20 (1): 1-27.

Related Media

Sachar Committee. 2006. “Social, Economic, and Education Status of the Muslim Community—Report.” Government of India.

Nayar, Usha. 2009. “An Analytical Study of Education of Muslim Women and Girls in India.” Government of India, Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD).

Otorgar derechos a grupos en sociedades profundamente divididas es importante y necesario. En términos de su alcance, de su impacto negativo sobre derechos civiles y particularmente sobre los derechos de la mujer, los costos de otorgar estos derechos son asuntos clave que afectan la política y las políticas de sociedades diversas. Este artículo explora las implicaciones sobre mujeres musulmanas en la India de aplicar políticas de autonomía para minorías. Paralelamente, se aproxima a la política india de autonomía religiosa para minorías desde la perspectiva de las autoridades políticas y legales y a través de la óptica de diferentes sectores de la comunidad de minorías. Este estudio intenta trascender el debate sobre las implicaciones de la Ley Personal Musulmana de la India mediante el análisis de la compleja construcción de derechos dentro de una sociedad de comunidades y propone lineamientos de política adicionales dirigidas a empoderar a mujeres de minorías. El caso indio provee un microcosmos constructivo para estudiar estas tensiones de manera comprensiva y comparativa, y proporciona importantes lecciones para otras sociedades multiculturales.