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Separate personal laws for Bangladesh’s Muslims, Hindus, and Christians discriminate - HRW report

30 September 2012

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Bangladesh: Discriminatory Family Laws Fuel Female Poverty
Reforms Should Tackle Failings of Courts, Laws, and Assistance Programs
September 17, 2012

(New York) – Bangladesh’s discriminatory personal laws on marriage, separation, and divorce trap many women and girls in abusive marriages or drive them into poverty when marriages fall apart, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. In many cases these laws contribute to homelessness, hunger, and ill-health for divorced or separated women and their children. [. . .] The 109-page report, “‘Will I Get My Dues…Before I Die?’ Harm to Women from Bangladesh’s Discriminatory Laws on Marriage, Separation, and Divorce,” documents how the country’s discriminatory and archaic personal laws impoverish many women at separation or divorce, and trap some women in violent marriages because they fear destitution. Current laws deprive women of an equal right to marital property. The limited entitlements these laws offer women are poorly enforced by family courts and local government arbitration councils. Female-headed households and women facing domestic violence struggle to access critical state support and social assistance. Together, these problems mean there is scant economic protection or security for women when marriages break down.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT:

“Will I Get My Dues … Before I Die?”
A report by Human Rights Watch
(17 September 2012)