One of the most heinous crimes against women in India, was the rape and fatal assault of Jyoti Singh, who came to be known as Nirbhaya (fearless). A student in her early twenties, Jyoti was gang raped by six men at the back of a moving bus during an evening in New Delhi on 16 December 2012.
Issues of Muslim women’s marital rights have received significant media attention in recent years, whereby these women have highlighted gender inequalities in the unreformed legal system of Muslim personal law in India. Within these debates, the problem of polygamy has been a recurring theme, that has been lingering around the issues of Muslim personal law reform, and the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code in the interests of women’s rights.
Why are social reforms important? Do they have the potential to completely transform a society? Are these changes always perceived as a positive alteration of societal norms? Do all sections of society benefit from these reforms?
Gender notions were crucial to the organisation of societies, yet this idea can now be challenged due to the work of early reformers, broadening the opportunities open to all regardless of social or biological positions.