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SOAS South Asia Institute

Enmeshed Socio-Economic Legalities - Women and Islam in South Asia

Professor Werner Menski / Associate Professor Gopika Solanki

Date: 22 May 2014Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 22 May 2014Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Brunei GalleryRoom: B102

Type of Event: Lecture

Series: MUSA "Big Star, Rising Star" Speaker Series

Professor Werner Menski and Associate Professor Gopika Solanki - Enmeshed Socio-Economic Legalities - Women and Islam in South Asia

Werner Menski

Learn more about Professor Werner Menski


Professor Menksi discusses the much-misunderstood follow-up of the Shah Bano case regarding maintenance rights for divorced Indian wives. It critically explores the boundaries of public law and private law in India, asking to what extent Muslim personal law been used as a testing ground for constitutional guarantees that apply to all citizens.

Gopika Solanki

Gopika Solanki is Associate Professor of Political Science at Carleton University in Canada. She is the author of Adjudication in Religious Family Laws: Cultural Accommodation, Legal Pluralism, and Gender Equality in India (2011, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press) and the co-author of Journey from Violence to Crime: A Study of Domestic Violence in the City of Mumbai. She is currently working on a new research project entitled The Split Personality of Law: Political Decentralization, Gender, and Indigenous Politics in Western India.


How and under what conditions does the Indian model of legal pluralism which allows state and societal legal actors to adjudicate marriage and divorce, shape and influence the meaning of legislation governing divorced Muslim women’s economic rights in the aftermath of the Shah Bano case? Tracing new legal developments affecting matrimonial laws, and mapping diverse trajectories of divorced Muslim women’s claim making, the talk highlights the interplay between personal and general laws to pursue ends connected to justice in varied legal settings. It also discusses the paradoxical nature of feminist interventions that constrain legal reform in this matter even as they open up new spaces for legal action and change.


This is a free and open event to all. To register your interest, please email MUSA.

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

Contact email: centres@soas.ac.uk

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893