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Can you Text a Divorce? Negotiating Women’s Rights in Law and Society

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Much of the practice of Islamic personal law is still located in classical jurisprudence where marriage and divorce laws are essentially viewed as performative utterances. Intention, wording and finality are fundamental to the validity of the marriage contract and the end of a contract. Texting, that most modern of communication is expression through technology but not oral utterance. Yet, recent cases in some Islamic countries shows that judges are allowing Muslim men to divorce via text. Contrary to popular perception and practice, divorce is not a simple process in jurisprudence but with the aid of texting, any possibility of ethical considerations towards the wife is being ignored.

This is the first in a series of three lectures by Humanitas Visiting Professor in Women’s Rights, Mona Siddiqui. These will be followed by a concluding symposium. For further information, see .

This talk is part of the CRASSH Humanitas Lectures series.

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