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Allow married women to bear fathers’ names -MURIC tells FG

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged the Federal Government to reform Nigerian marriage laws that will allow married women to bear their fathers’ names.…

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged the Federal Government to reform Nigerian marriage laws that will allow married women to bear their fathers’ names.

The group’s executive director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, made the call on Monday in a statement.

He said the current practice whereby married women are forced to bear their husbands’ surnames is gender discriminatory, archaic, and oppressive.

He condemned the current practice for depriving women of their Allah-given fundamental human right to personal and parental identity in marriage and Instead advocated the adoption of the women-friendly Islamic practice which allows married women to bear their fathers’ surnames after marriage.

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“No woman dropped suddenly from the sky and even if some appear out of nowhere, they must have been born, bred, nurtured, and marmaladed by certain parents before they grew up and matured into womanhood.

“Their education was also sponsored by their parents at a time when the future husband probably knew nothing about them and spent no kobo on their upbringing and their education.

“It therefore beats logic, fairness, and natural justice that a husband appears out of nowhere to commandeer a woman’s parental identity simply by marrying her,” Akintola said.

He insisted that such identity robbery also has its advantages.

He said, “For instance, women who are educated are forced to advertise change of names to their husbands’ surnames after marriage to retain the validity of their documents and properties. It often becomes very difficult and sometimes impossible for married women to be located or to retain old friends due to such a change of name.

“Islam sets women free from such stress by permitting married women to retain their original family names. Contrary to the general claim that Islam discriminates against women, Islamic liberation theology teaches respect for the dignity of women in all circumstances.

“One of such circumstances is the period when women are in wedlock. Whereas Western civilization robs married women of their original family identity by insisting that they should bear their husbands’ surnames, the Shari’ah allows women to bear their own fathers’ names even after marriage.”

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