Feminism in Bangladesh
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Movement for gender equality
Feminism in Bangladesh seeks equal rights of women in Bangladesh through social and political change. Article 28 of Bangladesh constitution states that "Women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the State and of public life".
Feminist movements in Bangladesh started long before its independence. Women activists in Bangladesh organized to claim their rights during British and Pakistan period. The actors of feminist movements in Bangladesh mobilized to fight for issues including violence against women, gender equality, economic opportunities, participation in the workforce, equal representation in politics, reproductive rights, reforming family law, gender equality in public policies. The foundation of feminist movements was laid during 19th century with social reform movement. The movement was mostly carried out by male social leaders to abolish evil social practices such as infanticide, child marriage, widow burning. During the Pakistan period the feminist movement were more focused on politics and national struggles. The Bangladesh period feminist movement includes issues like women's political participation, economic empowerment, gender mainstreaming in public policies,religious-personal law reforms, violence against women etc.The movements in 70s and 80s were led by professional women from urban area.
Muslim Family Law
The Muslim Family Law, created by the British Indian Government and later amended by Pakistani president Ayub Khan, is based on Shariah Law, which is discriminatory against women in Bangladesh.
- Begum Rokeya was a notable Muslim feminist.
- Kamini Roy was the first woman honours graduate in British India.
- Nurun Nahar Faizannesa was a leader of the feminist movement in Bangladesh-
- Sultana Kamal is a Bangladeshi lawyer and human rights activist. She serves as the Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra, a civil rights organization.
- Taslima Nasrin is a feminist who is known for her criticism of religion.
- Syeda Razia Faiz was the first female elected member of parliament in Bangladesh.
- Hasna Begum is a contemporary Bangladeshi philosopher of feminism and held the prestigious Rokeya Chair by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
- Rokeya Rahman Kabeer was a woman emancipation activist.
- Masuda Khatun was a pioneering feminist who was given the nickname Agni Nagini (Fire Serpent) by Kazi Nazrul Islam.
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