BANGLADESH: 'True' Women Rights Policy Demanded

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights

A platform of left-leaning women associations on Tuesday called upon the government to form a policy that can 'truly ensure equal right for women.'

The leaders of the platform also demanded a 'unified' family law and amendment to the inheritance law incorporating the provision of equal rights for men and women.

However, the rally in front of the National Press Club in the capital's main thoroughfare clogged rush-hour traffic in the evening.

Different organisations including Women Cell of Communist Party of Bangladesh, Samajtantrik Mohila Forum, Biplobi Nari Forum, Biplobi Nari Sanghoti and Sromojibi Nari Moitri joined the rally under the platform 'Samaodhikar Amader Nunnotomo Dabi' (Equal rights is our minimum demand).

Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury told the rally the government had adopted an 'incomplete' women development policy.

"Even then they (government) cannot implement it, bowing down to the pressure of religious bigots."

"It's cannot be a democratic practice," he observed and suggested a establishment of a democratic society where women would be treated as humans.

The cabinet endorsed the proposed National Women's Development Policy 2011 on March 7, drawing flaks from opposition and its Islamist allies.

Islamic Law Implementation Committee, headed by Fazlul Haque Amini's faction of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ), enforced a general strike on Apr 4 protesting the policy.

Amini, an ally of opposition BNP, on Tuesday once again vowed to continue movement against the policy, despite the prime minister's assurance that the policy has been formulated in the light of holy Qur'an and Hadith (Sunnah).

Prof Islam said the government neglected women because of some people who 'use religion to manipulate others.'

He demanded amendment to the inheritance law.

Prof Anu Muhammad urged men to help realise the women's demand.

"A united movement should be launched to ensure men and women's equal rights," he observed.

A procession with red banners and festoons has been brought out after the rally.