Aina Khan returned to Bradford at the Mercure Bankfield Hotel to lead the ‘Register Our Marriage’ (ROM) Roadshow hosted by the Muslim Women’s Council.
When faced with divorce, women in unregistered marriages are left without rights afforded to them in a British court of law. Unregistered marriages are steadily increasing in the Muslim community. The purpose of the ROM campaign is to raise awareness not only amongst the Muslim communities, but all those living together without a registered marriage – of all faiths or none.
Aina Khan was joined on the panel by Neil Addison, a barrister at the New Bailey Chambers in Liverpool, and Siddique Patel, head of family department at Kamrans Solicitors, one of West Yorkshire’s leading criminal defence firms.
Bana Gora (CEO, Muslim Women’s Council) said: “The Muslim Women’s Council receives calls daily from women enquiring about their marriage rights. Almost half of these calls are from women in unregistered marriages. Bradford is tipped to have the largest Muslim population in the country by 2030, a community which could be vulnerable to the downfalls of unregistered marriages, so it’s incredibly important for men and women in our community to know their rights.”
Aina Khan said: “I am talking not just to Muslims. I am addressing all those who think they have a ‘common law’ marriage. There is no such thing in the UK. Everyone needs to know that without that piece of paper, that legal registration, they have no legal rights. Women in such a situation are just a girlfriend with no safety net.”