Constitution-1972 of Bangladesh, women’s rights are protected under the broad and universal principles of equality and participation. Today (15 October 2011), speakers in a seminar at CIRDAP Auditorium demanded the enactment of article 2 and 16.1 of CEDAW and proper implementation of that commitment of the constitution to ensure Equal Rights over Land and Inheritance for Women. The seminar has been organized by the National Committee on International Rural Women Day to celebrate ‘International Rural Women Day (IRWD)’. Seminar was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akand, Secretary of the national Committee while Shaheen Monowara Haque, the member of the parliamentary standing committee on the ministry of communication attended as chief guest and Member of Parliament Rashida Begum Hira attended as the special guest. Dr. Sohel Iqbal of COAST placed the welcome note.
Mujibul Haque Munir delivered the key note of the seminar. He mentioned that according to the Agriculture Extension Department women own 32% of privately owned agriculture land in Bangladesh. But such huge contribution of women to the agriculture is always ignored. It happens due to lack of proper policy of women rights on land and inheritance. He also stated our constitution always emphasizes on equal rights and justice But the in respect of implementing women rights it is far from reality. IRWD has been observing by civil society members and NGOs with their internal fund and self commitment.
Shamima Nasrin of Swadin Bangla Garments Federation said, women movement has become more Dhaka centric, to achieve rights of rural women the movement should be extended to the rural areas of Bangladesh. Jibanondo Joyanta of Shurrakkha and Agragoti Foundation said that, may be our government do not hold enough courage to implement the Women Development policy.
In her speech the special guest, Rashida Begum Hira, termed the current national women development policy as a hotchpotch. She said, from that policy government’s perception or intention in regard of equal rights over inheritance is not clear. She gave importance on implementation of law and policy instead of just enacting law.
Shaheen Monowara Haque said, women rights can not be achieved only by women efforts. Man should come forward. According to the last population census women are more in umber than male, among that women a large portion are from rural areas. So, real development can not be possible without the development of those large rural women. She mentioned that, women empowerment is must for development and ownership of land and proper and equal rights over land and inheritance is a must for women empowerment.
Among others, Mahmuda Doli of Amar Desh, S M Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Kridshak Federation, Shipra Rani of Krishani Sova, Mahbub Hpssain of CDP, Siddikur Rahkman of Jai Jai Din, Advocate Salah Uddin, Advocate Polash Kumar Rai and Jayed Iqbal Khan also spoke at the seminar. The seminar was ended with cncuding remarks from writer Hosne Ara.