The family is the most important unit within the socio-cultural and religious milieu in Bangladesh. Marriage is the only acceptable union and an unmarried man or woman is viewed as an oddity. Issues arising out of marriage or incidental to it are therefore crucial to every Bangladeshi and such matters are determined by the religious laws of each community. In Bangladesh although in most matters a secular, uniform law is followed, in the case of personal family matters such as marriage, dissolution of marriage, maintenance, custody, guardianship and so forth, different communities follow their own religious laws. In the case of Muslims, the Shariah law is applicable with regard to family matters. Such law has largely remained untouched except for limited reforms made through legislative innovations or pro-active judicial actions. Despite the fact that significant progress has been achieved in terms of gender parity in various areas of employment, health and education, Bangladeshi women continue to be discriminated against in personal family matters. This presentation attempts to provide an overview of the personal family law regime which impacts upon Muslim women’s position within society including short discussions on women’s intestate succession rights as well as the social institution of dowry demands.
She speaks and publishes very regularly on subjects of family law governing both the Hindu and the Muslim communities in the country as well as other gender related issues including violence against women.