November 22, 2017
The British government finds six-out-of-10 Muslim marriages in the country are not valid, and violate women’s rights.
A report from the Cabinet Office finds 10 percent of Muslim wives in the U.K are involved in polygamous families.
Only 37 percent admit they were forced into such a relationship against their will.
Officials found up to 60 percent of Muslim marriages are not legally binding due to contradictions between Islamic Sharia law and British civil law.
This leaves women without family court protections as well as not having the choice to divorce without risking homelessness.
“I kept saying to my husband, we need to go and get registered,” explained one U.K. wife in a polygamous Islamic marriage. “Even though I was a breadwinner, I had my own house, my own car, supported myself and my children from my previous marriage, but to me having a registration was important.”
Up to 78 percent of Islamic wives say they would prefer their marriage to be legally-binding, while 28 percent of wives didn’t know their marriage is considered invalid.
The government also says Islamic women are poorly integrated into British society with limited English language ability, and little knowledge of their rights.