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'Just 4 pc of women enjoying land rights'

By UNB, DHAKA
05th-May-2015       
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Noted economist and ex-chairman of Janata Bank Prof Abul Barakat has said 96 percent of the women of Bangladesh are deprived of their land rights.
Dr Barakat was speaking at a seminar titled 'Women's Land Rights and Deprivation: A Succession Act Perspective', organised by Association for Land Reforms and Development (ALRD) at the city's Cirdap auditorium on Monday.
Presenting the keynote paper, Dr Barakat said, "It is a matter of grief that only four percent of our country's women enjoy their land rights properly, while the rest of them are deprived of the rights." Expressing concern, he also said apart from deprived of their land rights, they also get harassed or face threat if they claim their rights.
"Though we talk and discuss about equal rights for men and women, there is no comprehensive law to ensure women's equal rights to land," he said, as religious laws are still used to distribute land.  Discussing existing laws on land rights, he emphasised the need to bring some changes in the Succession Act to ensure equal land rights for men and women.
Abul Barakat, also the president of the Bangladesh Economic Association, said Hindu women in Bangladesh have been deprived most in the context of land rights; whereas, women's right to land among the country's Garo community have been guarded quite well.  Speaking at the programme, Khushi Kabir, coordinator of Nijera Kori, a non-government organisation, said a comprehensive family law is required to ensure women's land rights.
People from all walks of the society should be engaged in a social movement to establish the demand for actual equal rights for men and women, she added.
Former Information Commissioner Dr Sadeka Halim and Dhaka University teacher Dr Shima Zaman also spoke at the programme.

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