Bangladesh

DHAKA, 5 September 2013 (IRIN) - Women living in the slums in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital of 15 million people, face a higher risk of domestic violence than women in other parts of the country, say researchers. 

Nationwide, recordkeeping and data collection on the extent and types of violence against women are still scarce, according to an expert panel in 2011monitoring the country’s progress on eliminating violence against women. But the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Rashida Manjoo, found ample evidence in a recent visit to Bangladesh that “discrimination and violence against women continues in law and practice”. 

When her widowed mother remarried, Parvin Rema, then 13, was part of the deal – one of several such arrangements in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has followed India and Pakistan as the third South Asian country to elect a woman as parliament speaker, defying a threat by the Hefajat-e-Islam organisation, which warned the government not to promote women.

Members of Hifazat-e Islam, a radical Islamist party in Bangladesh, attacked female journalists on assignment as the group marched in the country's capital to demand strict Islamic law, including a ban on free mixing of the sexes and punishment of “atheists and blasphemous bloggers”. 

When Malala Yousafzai and her companions were shot by the Taliban, the whole of Pakistan expressed outrage. The attack on a young girl fighting for her right to education was shocking to many Pakistanis.  What was unusual about this event was, unfortunately, not the targeting of girls, but the fact that there was a national outcry.

Press Release

We, the undersigned strongly protest the arrest of Mr. Yunus Ali, the Head Teacher of KC Technical and Business Management College of Pirojpur, on 4 January, 2012. Mr. Ali was arrested or having allegedly kept a copy of writer Taslima Nasreen's novel "Lajja" ("Shame") in the college library. This arrest is a clear breach of the right to freedom of speech and shows the presence of a broad range of communal and generally reactionary forces in our society.

The study reviews the formal and customary laws and practices governing the rights of women to inherit land in six South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). The study includes an analysis of existing laws and customs and their impact on inheritance and land rights in all six countries. It also provides recommendations for how to design interventions that can attempt to improve women’s inheritance rights.

The authors test the unitary versus collective model of the household using specially designed data from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and South Africa. Human capital and individual assets at the time of marriage are used as proxy measures for bargaining power. In all four countries, we reject the unitary model as a description of household behaviour, but fail to reject the hypothesis that households are Pareto-efficient. In Bangladesh and South Africa, women's assets increase expenditure shares on education, while in Ethiopia it is men's assets that have this effect.
This desk study provides an analysis of the constraints and discrimination that women face with respect to access to rural land with the hope of informing future policy and civil society interventions. The country studies investigate statutory and customary discriminations, and they attempt to place the theme of women’s access to land into a larger socio-cultural frame of reference.

The Bangladesh government should take urgent measures to make sure that religious fatwas and traditional dispute resolution methods do not result in extrajudicial punishments, Human Rights Watch said today.  The government is yet to act on repeated orders of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court, beginning in July 2010, to stop illegal punishments such as whipping, lashing, or public humiliations, said the petitioners who challenged the practice.

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