Limited access to property keeping women behind: rights activists

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:40, Sep 28,2017


Women in Bangladesh continues to suffer widening gender based inequality only due to their limited access to land, other property and resources, rights activists said at a workshop in the capital Wednesday.
The workshop on Women’s Access to Resource and Property was hosted by two NGOs, the Association for Land Reform and Development and the Sangat with the support from the International Land Coalition.
Sangat coordinator Khushi Kabir said that women in this country were consistently being pushed behind simply because they don’t own land.
Women’s lack of access to landed property was widening gender based inequality in Bangladesh, said Khushi who is also coordinator of Nijera Kori.

ALRD deputy executive director Rowshan Jahan said that though women constitute 49.4 per cent of Bangladesh population, they own barely two to four per cent of the country’s land.
She called it a great incongruity that women in Bangladesh don’t own land proportionate to their contribution to raising crops and the country’s economy.
To illustrate the point Rowshan Jahan pointed out that 53.5 per cent women in Bangladesh was directly involved with raising crops and their contribution to farm economy stood at 64.4 per cent.
Other speakers blamed patriarchal social system, absence of egalitarian laws and rules, superstition and women lack of awareness about their rights for the systematic denial of access to land to women.
They said that as women don’t own land they can’t access the government’s soft credit and other facilities.
ALRD executive director Shamsul Huda, gender specialists and executive director of Pragroshor Fawzia Khondker, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development Head of the Gender Studies Cluster Simeen Mahmud, Research Initiatives Bangladesh executive director Meghna Guhathakurta spoke, among others.

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