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"3 Seconds Divorce" -An uphill battle for justice


One of my friends recommended this film to me a few times back but I had kept it on the back-burner. After watching, I thought to write a blog on it. “3 Seconds Divorce”, a 2018 Indian film is a story of one woman, whose husband divorced her with an instant divorce, and the fight involving strenuous efforts she started to get that instant divorce practice legally abolished. Lubna’s husband threw her out of house with infant child by saying word “Talaq” three times. This divorce was final and permitted by law as per the prevailing sharia practice of triple divorce. This was endorsed not only by faith leaders but also accepted by India’s civil courts. In order to return to her husband, Lubna was asked to undergo halala. Halala is a tradition that requires the divorced woman to marry another man, let him ‘consummate the marriage’ and then he has to divorce her before she can remarry her original husband. 3 Seconds Divorce tells Lubna’s story as she reels under the effects of triple-divorce and finds her way into Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, an Indian muslim women’s group advocating for a legal ban on this type of divorce. However, Muslim faith leaders in power are adamant and accuse the muslim women of pandering to the agenda of the Hindu right wing. Under resourced and outnumbered, the women continue the struggle against all odds and celebrate small victories. The things I liked about this film is women’s activism (especially who’re double marginalized) that’s shown. For making of a movement, how women strived and how much personal sacrifices they’ve given. This film resonates “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” How Lubna took that small step and lead towards the voyage that marked as a milestone. Secondly, this film changes the concept that Muslim women lack power. In fact, in this film, women are shown as allies, fighting their own battles. You will see the frustration of the BMMA as they fight their difficult, undertaking struggle to outlaw triple divorce but they don’t give up. In our society, women’s experiences are considered as erroneous and if they ever speak up and make their voices heard, it’s taken as a threat to larger interests or the adamant people. This film also make us better understand the complexities around this issue, the socio-political context in which it exists at least in India, that this is a product and tool of patriarchy, that women have been deliberately kept out of authoritative spaces occupied by misogynist religious leaders. Once scene, which for me, encapsulates both struggles is one in which Lubna speaks of her interactions with her son, explaining how she never tells her son of what his father did to her or why he did it (to marry other women as she explains) for fear of her son doing the same to a woman when he is grown, or perhaps in the hope that she can raise a son who respects women as his equal. Although she has suffered by the oppressive actions of her son’s father, she works to protect other women from being treated as she has. There’s no doubt that triple divorce is destructive to women’s lives. It results in not only emotional and psychological pain, but financial hardship as well.

What do you think of this film? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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18 Comments


I agree. I think children should know about the deeds of their parents. As this film is a demonstration of both the oppression women face as well as the solidarity among women who suffer. Although she has suffered by the oppressive actions of her son’s father, she works to protect other women from being treated as she has. That's could be the reason of not telling to her son about father's actions. But, I think she should.

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Abdul Rehman Mirza
Abdul Rehman Mirza
Aug 07, 2022

Indeed, an insightful observation. I want to add that in South Asia, a Muslim man can divorce his wife by just uttering "divorce" (talaq, talaq, talaq) three times in a row, which is known as "quick divorce" or "triple divorce". Contrary to popular belief, it is not the proper sharia-based form of divorce in Islam. According to some interpretations of Islamic law, a man must declare his intention to divorce his wife three times, on three different occasions, with time between each proclamation for reconciliation and thought. Numerous Muslim imams and scholars in India have understood this law to mean that the intention to divorce must be expressed three times at the same moment. The movie is terrific and clearly…


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Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! I am not a law student so I don't have much information about this. But when I watched this movie and when I read about triple divorce in detail, it lead me to think how unfair this thing is. Women have to face a lot of problems from this.

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Very insightful post Ammara! I liked that this movie brought to light this concept of "3 seconds divorce". I think the law regarding divorce has so many loopholes and movies like these are great way to bring to light the challenges Women in particular face especially after a divorce. Lubna's character being thrown out in the middle of the night with her infant son really shows how vulnerable divorce can leave women, especially those who are dependent on their husbands or families. I also really liked that you talked about Lubna's own dilemma of whether to tell her son the real reason or not.

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In addition, divorced women faces many problems while educating their children, for instance, lack of aspiration, lack of economic support, transport problems, frequent residential moves and lack of adjustment etc. Women find themselves in a very ungrateful position- torn between standing up for themselves and their rights or to continue suffering and maintaining good family reputation. Women often don’t have any outside support and even their parents try to encourage them to be patient and stay positive for things to get better.

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Interesting!

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I'm glad that you liked my blog.

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Hi Ammara!

Thank you for penning down your thoughts in this blog! It was such an eye opener for me.

I think that triple talaaq is a subject that has had very limited representations in the media. This documentary touches upon some of the effects of triple talaaq via testimonials of women from a very raw and candid lens, which allows for the viewers to connect with the stories more deeply and feel these women's emotions while sparking an inner drive to drive action and do something about the matter. I feel that this kind of experience can only be given to the audience through media products like documentaries. Some of these effects of triple talaaq include women being cast…


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I think women face depowerment because of beliefs and practices of prejudices that are shown in mainstream media.


Eradicating patriarchal laws and forging strong partnerships across all sectors of society are keys to removing barriers blocking progress on gender equality etc.

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