Pregnant women barred from Haj — another bar on right to pray?

| Saturday, April 9, 2016 - 21:50
First Published |
 Masjid al-Haram, Mecca

New Delhi: Women may have won the right to pray at the Shani Shingnapur temple ending a 400-year-old tradition but it seems the battle is not going to end any time soon.

The central Haj committee has now barred pregnant women from pursuing the Haj.

As per the latest directive, women who are four months pregnant would not be allowed to proceed in the Haj pilgrim. This, the committee says has been done for their (women) own safety.

Activists have slammed this diktat calling it an act of arbitrariness and have insisted that such ideas can’t be legitimised.

Activist, Brinda Adige called this verdict another form of gender discrimination. She questioned how on the basis of tradition or on the basis of oppressive practices they could stop somebody from getting what they were praying for.

“These are very large questions that tradition and practices and patriarchy keeps on re-iterating on a daily basis and these need to be challenged,” she added.

(Also Read: Another win for Right to Pray campaign)

“I don’t think it is justified. It can be an advice; but religious institutions and the people who make personal law... these committees and some of the durgahs also don’t allow women. This should go irrespective of all religions. When the Hindu temples are open for women, Muslim durgahs should also be open for the Muslim women,” said CPI leader Sudhakar Reddy.

The central Haj committee has said that women who are pregnant at the time of filing their application and who will complete four months of pregnancy in September this year will not be allowed to embark on the pilgrimage.

The committee has also gone on to say that if it is found later that a woman has concealed her pregnancy, she might be de-boarded from the flight.

Chief executive officer of the committee has said that because the Haj pilgrimage is physically strenuous and that a pregnant women might not be equipped to deal with it. However, a lot of questions are being asked about this move.


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