The Daily Star - Dhaka,Bangladesh

Speakers at a workshop yesterday called on the religious leaders to preach proper teachings of Islam to help ensure equal rights of women in the society.

They also suggested incorporating madrasa education into mainstream to make students aware of the equal rights of women as provided in Islam.

The workshop titled 'Ensuring women's rights within Islamic framework' was organised by Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA) in collaboration
with The Asia Foundation at the Brac Centre Inn in the city.

Presiding over the workshop Advocate Salma Ali, executive director of BNWLA, said around 80 to 85 percent of total cases, that her organisation usually
deals with, are related to domestic violence.

She said although the Muslim Family Law Ordinance was amended in 1961, it is yet to be followed at grassroots level.

While delivering her speech on 'Divorce and rights of women', Advocate Fawzia Karim Firoze, immediate-past president of BNWLA, pointed out that although
the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961 made some specific provisions, but it did not make them mandatory to help raise the voice of women in reconciliation

She also pointed out that the misinterpretation about women's rights occurs due to lack of proper teachings of the holy Qur'an.

She urged the religious leaders to propagate women's rights, especially the rights after their divorce and dower money in the light of Islam.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad said from the true perspective of Islam, both women and men are meant to enjoy equal rights in the society.

The injustice regarding women's rights is continuing due to ignorance and not following the ideals of Islam, he said, adding that the literacy rate will
have to be increased to stop this injustice.

He also suggested incorporating madrasa education into the mainstream to make students literate about Islam.

Speaking as chief guest Geeteara Safiya Choudhury, adviser to the caretaker government, urged media to highlight the positive picture of women's empowerment
to inspire others.

She also urged electronic media to arrange programmes on Islam to help establish women's rights in the society.

Source: = The Daily Star - Dhaka,Bangladesh
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