Mapping of Muslim Family Laws Globally

Since 2012, Musawah has been researching Muslim family laws and practices that enforce de jure and de facto discrimination against women in various Muslim majority and minority countries. Our report on CEDAW and Muslim Family Laws tracked CEDAW compliance in addressing discriminations against Muslim women on family law matters in 44 different countries.

Through Musawah’s work in international advocacy, capacity building and knowledge building, a strong need to map out and track positive developments in Muslim family laws globally emerged. In 2016 we began compiling information outlining the legislative frameworks, available case law, policies, procedures and practices in 31 countries (and counting) on the following 12 principal issues of concern.

Equality of Spouses in Marriage

Women's Consent to Marriage

Women's Capacity to Enter Marriage

Polygamous Marriage

Divorce Rights

Child Marriage

Women's Financial Capacity After Divorce

Custody of Children

Guardianship of Children

Inheritance Rights

Violence Against Women (In Family)

Nationality Rights

The initiative also tracks reform and Positive Developments in Muslim Family Laws globally, in the above 12 principal issues of concern.

The diversity of provisions and practices in Muslim family laws across the world and the ongoing process of reform of these laws in multiple countries, demonstrates that change towards more egalitarian family laws which guarantee equality and justice to Muslim women and men, is both necessary and possible.

The country overview tables, downloadable above, were prepared in consultation with national advocates and experts and are still work-in-progress given the diverse and evolving nature of law reform globally. Additional data analysis of these tables are ongoing. We plan to begin visually mapping global facts, trends and information on Muslim family laws and will be updating our website accordingly.

As this is an ongoing initiative, we invite feedback and any verification of information, as well as submission of any additional information and updates on the countries listed. Please email us at musawah (at) musawah.org to get in touch and/or discuss collaborative ways of using this information.

Contents of the ‘Positive Developments in Muslim Family Laws’ and country overview tables are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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