Human rights or women's rights!

Md Rezaul Karim By Md Rezaul Karim, 26th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3d8lkrxw/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Activism

Where human rights are abused, women’s rights become a moon in the sky- Flaws in the Justice System.

Flaws in the Justice System.

In Bangladesh women litigants are deprived of justice for weaknesses in the legal system. Most of the civil laws promulgated during the British colonial regime; many of which treat women unequally, consequently become victims of inequality in all aspects of their live. In the last century women made advances in socio-economic fields notwithstanding innumerable hindrances, but cruelty to women has not been ceased, rather it seems to have increased. Although there are laws, yet they fail to establish the rights of women and assure justice to the litigant women. Had the state law become women-friendly, it would have been easier to ensure justice too. It is astounding that women become victims in the state which espouses full freedom for women. In spite of the abolition of the system of self immolation of Hindu wife on her dead husband's pyre and child-marriage, the rights of women could not be established in full in our social system. Women even today, are afraid of various social curses like dowry related murder, abduction, throwing of acid etc.

With the waxing up of law and order in the country oppression against women is mounting. For different causes women lag behind in terms of justice. But in the face of the demands spearheaded by women organisations the government promulgated the Family Court Ordinance on June 17, 1985. It was presumed that the Law would play an epoch-making role in maintaining the rights of women, but unfortunately even after the laps of 25 years it has done very little in this respect. The reasons for which the women community fails to establish its rights despite the existence of the Family Courts Ordinance are as follows:

1. According to Section 4 of the Ordinance all Assistant Judge Courts shall be treated as Family Courts. So the speedy trial is a far cry and the lengthy process of getting legal aid for women does not come to an end.

2. As per provisions of law only disputes relating to five matters like dissolution of marriage, restitution of conjugal rights, dower, maintenance, guardianship and custody of children may be solved in the family courts, but is the life of women in reality confined to these five subjects only? Consistently, this law and the court are not sufficient to change the problem and the position of a woman's life.

3. As per Article 27 of Bangladesh Constitution - all citizens are equal before law and entitled to equal protection of law. Though equality of all citizens in the eyes of law is mentioned in the Constitution, the districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bandarban and Rangamati have been excluded. Considering all sides this law does not fall within the status of a universal law.

4. Family courts have been empowered to deal with civil suits only, so it is not possible to file cases against criminal offences committed within the family in these courts.

5. Though provision for fixed court fee has been made, yet there are many other expenses which have not been fixed resulting in the problems faced by rural women seeking redress. Besides, we may say since the said law is in the light of the Muslim family law, it cannot render any service to the Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and tribal litigant women. Therefore, it is a weak law.

6. According to Section 20 of the Family Law Ordinance, no procedure of the civil procedure code except Section 10 and 11 shall apply to any proceedings brought to the family court. Thus the Family Court Ordinance 1985 is not a self sufficient law.

7. The code of civil procedure, 1908 needs to be amended to ensure that women get justice.

For ensuring justice to women it is necessary to treat women as a human being. It must be borne in mind that women and man are not opponents of one another. It is the demand of time to make the Family Law Ordinance a women-friendly law. The government for the greater interest of citizens will consider the genuine demand of more than half the population of the country.

Tags

Good Governance, Human Rights, Justice System, Womens Rights

Meet the author

author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
I am a teacher engaged with the Southern University Bangladesh. I Like to use my spare time by writing and reading. I take it as a fun and source of inspiration in pursuing knowledge.

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
26th Feb 2012 (#)

It was not so long ago here in America us women were not treated as equals, in the very least. That is why we were not allowed to vote, they had no respect for us as human beings. Times have changed in our laws but, we still have a ways to go for society as a whole to treat us as equals. My heart goes out to all women that are were we use to be, not so long ago here in the US. Nice read. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
26th Feb 2012 (#)

The real shame is that so many people who treat women poorly were once children, who had their mother's love, why would you want to see your mother, or anyone's mother treated so bad?

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author avatar ghazala zafar
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Reza you always pick thoughtful topics, thanks for sharing!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you bros.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Hello, Rezaul: The Suffragettes (all women) began to fight for women's rights in 1897 in the U.K. Do the women in Bangladesh have a movement to promote women's rights. If they are waiting for the men to act on their behalf, they are going to have to wait a long, long time.

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author avatar Buzz
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Ivy is right. Bangladeshi women should stand up and be vocal about their inherent rights. Thanks for sharing, my friend.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks Karim, you have taken the bull by the horns! This coming from a country which had many woman Prime Ministers! In a lighter vein, ealrlier times power was decided by brawn; equal rights will mean men had it, boy! But seriously, I feel education is necessary for women to progress and certain aspects of life need a woman's touch. The society is enriched through an inclusive approach. But it also comes with a price - it is upto us to look at the positives which outnumber few negatives. But human rights should favour all - siva

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
28th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you for your nice sharing of ideas and feelings, our female activists seem like busy with their own selfish petty interests, using the banner women's rights. Question is, do we have rights? All becomes related to money and interests, and exchange of power and money.

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author avatar Retired
6th Mar 2012 (#)

I agree strongly with your last comment. No matter what society, country, culture; if we value money, interests, and exchange of power (and I would add, the acquisition of material goods) more that individual people we are destined to destined to fail as humans. We become what we value. Thank you for this insightful article.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
7th Mar 2012 (#)

Thanks for your comments on this, Martin.

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