Call to implement Cedaw | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 04, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 04, 2007

Call to implement Cedaw

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the government to fully implement the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) and incorporate it into the country's law.
Though Bangladesh is a signatory to the Cedaw, it is yet to ratify articles 2 and 16-1 (ga) of the convention, hindering its proper implementation, they said.
The reservations to these articles that call for women's equal rights to resources and equal participation in family affairs are also against the spirit of the constitution and human rights, they added.
A committee comprising representatives of 14 rights organisations, including Steps Towards Development, Ain O Shalish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA), Karmojibi Nari, Oxfam GB and Women for Women, organised the discussion at Chhayanaut Bhaban in the city to mark the 25th anniversary of the Cedaw Committee.
"Cedaw is the first document that addresses many issues of our personal life," said Salma Ali, executive director of BNWLA.
Stressing the need to incorporate this convention into the country's law, she urged the government and NGOs to work in coordination with each other to this end.
She also called for putting pressure on the government and raise awareness in this regard, she added.
Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said there is no logical excuse for the reservations to the Cedaw on some articles.
It has been said that these articles are not consistent with the Sharia law and family law, but the reality is that 29 Muslim countries have already withdrawn reservations to these articles, she said.
Reservations to even a single article is enough to hold back the implementation of other articles, she added.
Ferdous Ara Begum, a member of United Nations Cedaw Committee, Ayesha Khanam of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Ranjan Karmakar of Steps Towards Development, Rokeya Rafiq Baby of Karmojibi Nari, Shahnaz Sumi of Nari Pragati Sangha, Kamrun Nahar of ASK and Farhana Hafiz of Oxfam GB also spoke.

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