Advocate Salma Ali -President of BNWLA on verdict of first custodial death in Bangladesh

” Advocate Salma Ali who was in the courtroom as the verdict was being read out, said afterwards, “In a country like ours, where there is no witness protection, filing a case against law enforcers and then winning it is a momentous step. The family was under threat many times. This judgment gives the message that there is no impunity for anyone.”

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Press Release for International Women’s Day 2020

প্রেস বিজ্ঞপ্তি

 

যৌন হয়রানী প্রতিরোধ পূর্ণাঙ্গ  আইন প্রণয়ন

মুজিব শতবর্ষে দাবী এবং সময়ের দাবী

 

অদ্য ৫.৩.২০২০ ইং তারিখে আসন্ন ৮ মার্চ,২০২০ আন্তর্জাতিক নারী দিবস উপলক্ষে বাংলাদেশ জাতীয় মহিলা আইনজীবী সমিতি আলোচনা সভার আয়োজন করে । সভায় সমিতির সভাপতি এবং মানবধিকারকর্মী এডভোকেট সালমা আলী সভাপতিত্ব করেন ।  এডভোকেট তৌহিদা খন্দকার আন্তর্জাতিক নারী দিবসের শুভেচ্ছা জানিয়ে সভার সুচনা বক্তব্য রাখেন ।

সভায় বিভিন্ন সংগঠনের প্রতিনিধিরা সহ সমিতির সাধারণ সম্পাদক এডঃ জোবায়দা পারভিন, এডঃ জাকিয়া আনারকলি, এডঃ জাহানারা বেগম শিখা, এদঃ ফৌজিয়া বেগম , ফেয়ার ওয়্যার ফাউন্ডেশনের এডঃ সারা তানজিনা ইভা, কারিতাস বাংলাদেশের আফরিন সুলতানা রূপালী এবং সমিতির কর্মকর্তা ও কর্মচারীবৃন্দগণ আলচনায় অংগ্রহণ করেন ।

বাংলাদেশ জাতীয় মহিলা আইনজীবী সমিতির সভাপতি  এবং মানবধিকারকর্মী এডভোকেট সালমা আলী বলেন, ‘ যৌন হয়রানী প্রতিরোধে বাংলাদেশ জাতীয় মহিলা আইনজীবী সমিতি সুচনালগ্ন থেকে কাজ করে আসছে । ২০০৮ সালে ৭ অগাস্ট, শিক্ষা প্রতিষ্ঠানে এবং কর্মস্থলে নারী ও শিশুদের প্রতি যৌন হয়রানীর প্রতিরোধে দিক নির্দেশনা চেয়ে রীট দায়ের করে । এরই প্ররিপ্রেক্ষিতে ২০০৯ সালে হাইকোর্ট একটি দিক নির্দেশনা প্রদান করে । সংশ্লিষ্ট কর্তৃপক্ষের মনিটরিং ব্যবস্থার অভাবে মহামান্য হাইকোর্টের নির্দেশনা বাস্তবায়ন হইনি। তবে যৌন হয়রানীর প্রতিরোধে আইন অনতিবিলম্বে প্রণয়ন করা জরুরী ।’

সাধারণ সম্পাদক এডঃ জোবায়দা পারভিন বলেন নারীর শিক্ষা, অধিকার প্রতিষ্ঠা। কুসংস্কারের বেড়াজালে ছিন্ন করে নারীকে তার প্রাপ্যমর্যাদায় প্রতিষ্ঠা করা ইত্যাদি বিষয়গুলো সমাজের আরও সুস্পষ্ট ভাবে তুলে ধরেছিলেন বেগম রোকেয়া । তিনি সহিংসতা বন্ধে সমাজের নারীদের পাশাপাশি পুরুষদের গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ভুমিকার কথাও উল্লেখ করেন এবং শ্রমজীবী নারীদের আন্দোলনেই পরবর্তীতে নারী আন্দোলনে রূপ নেয় বলে জানান। তার লিখিত বক্তব্যে বিভিন্ন পত্রিকার প্রাপ্ত তথ্য অনুযায়ী তুলনামূলক সহিংসতার চিত্র উঠে আসে – জানুয়ারী ২০২০ এ ধর্ষণের ঘটনা ঘটেছে ১২১ টি, ফেব্রুয়ারীতে ১১৪ টি । ঢাকা মেডিকেল কলেজের ওসিসি থেকে প্রাপ্ত তথ্য অনুযায়ী এবছর জানুয়ারী মাসে ধর্ষণের শিকার হয়ে ২১১ জন ভর্তি হয়। ২০১৮ সালের জানুয়ারীতে ৭০ জন, ২০১৯ এর জানুয়ারীতে ১২০ জন।

সমিতির পরিচালক এডঃ তৌহিদা খন্দকার জানান সর্বক্ষেত্রে নারী পুরুষের অধিকার নিশ্চিত করণের পাশাপাশি নারীর জন্য প্রতিটি স্থান, কাল মহুর্ত কর্মক্ষেত্রে নিরাপদ করার লক্ষ্যে জোড়ালো দাবী জানাচ্ছে বাংলাদেশ জাতীয় মহিলা আইনজীবী সমিতি । তিনি বলেন মুজিব বর্ষের সকল নারীসহ আপামর জনতার দাবী, ” নারীর প্রতি সকল প্রকার সহিংসতার বন্ধে সরকারের সক্রিয় পদক্ষেপ গ্রহণ ” ।

২০২০ সালের আন্তর্জাতিক নারী দিবসের স্লোগান ” প্রজন্ম হোক সমতার, নিশ্চিত হোক অধিকার” এই প্রতিপাদ্য নিয়ে আলচনায় জাতির জনকের শততম বর্ষ উপলক্ষে জোড়াল ভাবে উঠে আসে ৩ টি দাবী

 

জোড়াল দাবীঃ

(১) যৌন হয়রানী প্রতিরোধে পূর্ণাঙ্গ আইন প্রণয়ন

(২) নারীর প্রতি বৈষম্য বিলোপ সাধনে সিডও সনদের অনুচ্ছেন সংরক্ষণ অনতিবিলম্বে তুলে নেওয়া

(৩) যৌন হয়রানী প্রতিরোধে হাইকোর্টের নির্দেশনার সুষ্ঠু ফলপ্রসূ বাস্তবায়ন

 

সভায় অংশগ্রহনকারী সবাই দৃঢ় অঙ্গিকার ব্যক্ত করেন ” আমি প্রজন্মের সমতায় বিশ্বাসী, নারী অধিকার প্রতিষ্ঠায় কাজ করি।

Executive Committee Election Results for 2020-2021

 

Advocate Salma Ali is elected as the President of Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA) at the Executive Committee General Election 2020-2021.


Advocate Salma Ali

Adv. Salma Ali is a leading human rights activist in Bangladesh, Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Co-Chair of Child Labor Monitoring Cell under Ministry of Labor and Employment,an Advisor of Anti-Trafficking monitoring cell under Ministry of Home Affairs. 

Adv. Salma Ali is also Ex- Executive Director of Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA), Ex-Chairperson of Fair Election Monitoring Alliance (FEMA) & ex-President of Action Against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children (ATSEC).

 

Job Tittle: Volunteers & a Support Staff

BNWLA is looking for Volunteers & a Support Staff for the project of Promotion of Women’s Leadership to advance gender equality in Bangladesh” supported by Manusher Jonno Foundation. It is a 4 years project which will be implemented in Dhaka, Manikgonj, Dhamrai and Keranigonj to stop Gender Based Violence, currently inviting application from the qualified candidates.

Sl No Position Name Academic Qualification Comment
01. Volunteer Minimum SSC Candidate must be from – Dhaka, Manikgong, Dhamrai and Keranigonj
02. Support Staff 5/8 Pass Posting: Dhaka

 

Please send your CV to bnwlarecruitment@gmail.com by January 29, 2020 .

APPLY HERE

Job Tittle: Community Mobilizer

BNWLA is looking for a Community Mobilizer for the project of Promotion of Women’s Leadership to advance gender equality in Bangladesh” supported by Manusher Jonno Foundation. It is a 4 yeas project which will be implemented in Dhaka, Manikgong, Dhamrai and Keranigonj to stop Gender Based Violence, currently inviting application from the qualified candidates.

Job Responsibilities

  • Arrange and conduct awareness raising session at community level
  • Assist project staff to arrange different project activities
  • Arrange and conduct need-based training of a different group of beneficiaries
  • Prepare and submit monthly/ quarterly work plan of assigned work.
  • Responsible for capacity development of different groups of the community
  • Assist supervisor to conduct sensitization/orientation on women rights/ gender based violence and gender equality at community level.
  • Form different groups at community
  • Able to take various kinds of sessions on women rights and women leadership.
  • Arrange TFD/Folk song for community awareness
  • To carry out any other duties and responsibilities as and when required and assigned by the authority.

 

Employment Status

Full-time, Contractual

Number of position: 4

Gender: Male/Female

Educational Requirements

  • BA/BSS or Minimum HSC relevant experience
  •  Experience Requirements
  • 3-5 year(s)

 

Additional Requirements

  • Minimum 3-5 year(s) professional background in community mobilization.
  • Minimum 3-5 years’ experience preferably with NGO’s. Working experience on the donor-funded project will be given preference.
  • Excellent computer operation skills including accounting software, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, email and internet browsing.
  • Have to be gender-sensitive with sound knowledge and experience on gender issues.

Job Location

Dhaka, Manikgonj, Dhamrai and Keranigonj

Salary: Negotiable

Compensation & Other Benefits:  As per organizational policy and budget provision

APPLY HERE

Does media have full freedom in Bangladesh?

Event Name

Does media have full freedom?

Date

10th October, 2019

EVENT LOCATION

Supreme Court of Bangladesh

A High Court judge yesterday questioned whether the media in the country enjoys full freedom and whether fear is at play among journalists.

Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif pointed out that Bangladesh’s position deteriorated in this year’s freedom of the press ranking though people seem to be getting sensitive and fresh news from the media every day.

“But note that you journalists report and can report only when there is an outburst … when it unfolds in front of our eyes nakedly,” he said, addressing a workshop at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium.

“But you knew about those incidents beforehand but could not report, and there are various limitations behind all this.

“This is exactly where lies a problem regarding the press freedom.”

Talking about the ongoing drive against casinos, he said, “Casinos were operated in Bangladesh for many years. Could journalists run reports on this? No, they could not.”

Journalists jumped on the issue after the prime minister said action would be taken.

“Then, is there full press freedom in our country? Does it mean fear is at play among you [journalists]? [Do you apprehend] ‘if I do a report I will run into trouble or my editor may face a problem’,” he said.

His comments came amid concerns over media freedom with the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) putting Bangladesh at 123rd place this year from 119th last year. The country scored 49.3 in the freedom of the press this year, according to the GCI.

Touching on the killing of Buet student Abrar Fahad, he questioned the inaction of Buet teachers over the ragging and torture at dormitories even though the misdeeds were an open secret.

“We all are aware of ragging at universities. Newspapers like The Daily Star and Prothom Alo ran stories on the issue,” he said.

“But we were silent, administration was silent, the university authorities were silent. All were silent,” he said, adding that everyone started talking after Abrar was killed and the prime minister said justice has to be done.

“Where were the teachers when there were incidents of ragging, when the culture of torturing students was developing at every university?” he questioned.

“Today, the teachers’ association brings out processions over Abrar murder. Where were you then? What did you do when students faced ragging in your institution? What steps did you take? Have you lodged complaints with police? You did not.”

Justice Hasan was speaking at a workshop on “Implementation of High Court Verdict to Prevent Sexual Harassment and Role of Mass Media”.

Law Reporters Forum (LRF) and Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) jointly organised the event in association with Fair Wear Foundation.

ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Justice Hasan was critical of the absence of a complaint committee on sexual harassment in the Supreme Court, although the High Court gave directives in this regard in 2009.

“We all know sexual harassment takes place among lawyers. We also know such incidents happen among the staff of the Supreme Court. I personally heard one or two such incidents.

“But such issues were resolved somehow — rebuking the accused when those were exposed widely.”

Such incidents were covered up or the accused were just transferred, he said.

But the HC has issued directives for constituting a complaint committee at every workplace; carrying out probe into sexual harassment allegations; filing report to police if any allegation contains criminal ingredients, and starting disciplinary proceeding against the accused.

“The High Court said this in 2009 but if you ask the Supreme Court registrar whether a complaint committee has been formed, I guess he will not be able to reply in the affirmative.”

He said, “If we can’t purify my house, then how can I be able to purify others. This is applicable to the judges and the Supreme Court, as it is applicable to you, journalists.”

He called upon journalists to enquire whether his or her newspaper or media house has formed a committee to resolve sexual harassment issues.

Also speaking at the workshop, BNWLA President Fawzia Karim Firoz urged the government to enact a law to prevent sexual harassment at workplaces on the basis of the guidelines issued by the HC.

LRF President Wakil Ahmed Hiron, BNWLA General Secretary Seema Zahur, Country Representative of Fair Wear Foundation Bablur Rahman, among others, spoke while LRF Training and Welfare Secretary Mas Udur Rahman moderated the event.

This article is published here.

Action for Reducing Islamic Radicalization and Violence Extremism through Awareness and Advocacy

Project Name

Action for Reducing Islamic Radicalization and Violence Extremism through Awareness and Advocacy.

DURATION

1st January 2019

DONOR

Manusher Jonno Foundation

PROJECT LOCATION

Dhaka, Gazipur, Manikgonj sadar, Munshigonj

Budget

30,00,000

Target

Prevention of Islamic Radicalization and Violent Extremism through Awareness and Advocacy

Aim and objective

Activites under Advocacy :

  1. Advocacy/ sensitization Meeting with Islamic Foundation
  2. Meeting with Imam and Masjid committee to sensitize them about the project at Dhaka and project areas. ( Dhaka-1 and Project area-6)
  3. Meeting with the authority of religious ministry to discuss about the project and content focusing on how to reduce/ end Islamic radicalization and violence extremism.
  4. Meeting with the consultant and senior employee about the content development (will be discussed during class period)
  5. Advocacy meeting with the Higher authority of the Ministry in presence of Minister to discuss about content and TVC.
  6. Advocacy and sensitization meeting with Madrasha Education Board

 

Activities under Awareness and Campaign

  1. Meeting with the consultant and senior employee about the content development
  2. Meeting with the consultant and senior employee about the TVC development
  3. TVC development by the consultant
  4. Airing TVC
  5. Up load TVC & others post at Face Book

 

Proposed activities are sharply aligned with above mentioned issues; the project has plan to conduct Advocacy/ sensitization Meeting with Islamic Foundation to sensitize then and make them supportive so that the project can reach all the Imam of targeted areas. The purpose of the activity is to engage Imam to deliver the message during Friday Prayer (Juma Prayer) focusing the effect of Islamic redicalization and violence extremesim, the role of guardian to look after their  boys. In order to do that the project will organize meetings with Imam in the project targeted areas. BNWLA consider the Relegion Ministry as the apex body of duty bearers with whome the project should have lobby and laison so that the organization can execute their project activities easily. Even the project has plan to have meeting with the authority of religious ministry to discuss about the project and content focusing on how to reduce/ end Islamic radicalization and violence extremism. The project has an activity to conduct advocacy meeting with the Higher authority of the Ministry in presence of Minister to discuss about content and TVC, the aim of the activity is to get approval on the content as well as TVC which will help project to aware the targeted beneficiaries as well as mass. The project will conduct advocacy and sensitization meeting with Madrasha Education Board aiming to sensitize them and get their support to prevent Islamic Redicalizatio and violence extremesim. As per the project plan the project will develop TVC and airing it through TV channels and upload it in the Facebook, the purpose of the activity is to aware the targeted beneficiaries as well as mass.

Provision of Legal Assistance and SGBV Prevention and response to the Rohingya Community

Project Name

Provision of Legal Assistance and SGBV Prevention and response to the Rohingya Community.

DURATION

1st January 2019 to 31st December 2019

DONOR

PLASGBVPRC

PROJECT LOCATION

Teknaf

TARGET POPULATION

23,1759 people from different corner of the work

Target

Protection and Mixed Solutions

Aim and objective

Legal assistance for sex and gender based violence (SGBV) survivors is a serious obstacle in Bangladesh due to limited access to legal services. Most of the survivors have lack of adequate knowledge regarding their rights and the available prosecution system of the country. Women and child friendly prosecution system is fully absent in the context of Bangladesh. Rohingya refugees both male and female are more deprived in having justice regarding any inhuman incident like rape, sexual harassment, Trafficking, forced labour, child marriage domestic violence and commercial sexual abuse and exploitation. Their vulnerabilities are unlimited and unbound. They need emergency legal support to ensure their protection from different form of violence . Male population of Rohingya Refugees also face obstacles regarding access to justice especially for criminal offences.   

Under the project (PLASGBVPRC) Protection of SGBV survivors of and survivors of different form of violence BNWLA will ensure legal protection and Psychosocial Counselling of Refugees both male and female and for the people of host community in the work areas.

This project will involve both male and female population of Rohingya Refugees and Community participation will be ensured for all field level activities. This project will also cover the comprehensive psychosocial supports (safe shelter, counselling, food, medical treatment and recreation) for the Rohingya Refuges of work areas and will ensure referral and integration support for the targeted population. As part of prevention activities, this project will work with the community to address human trafficking, sexual harassment, sex trade, gender based violence and child marriage through regular awareness activities. It is important to note that community based protection group members and paralegal volunteers (refugee) will render their support in developing legal protection mechanism in work areas.

This project will focus on developing legal service centres, providing legal counselling, ensuring safe security and comprehensive psychosocial counselling, enhancing capacity, reducing trauma of survivors and ensuring legal rights of the refugee population. This project will cover the areas of Cox’s Bazar, Ukhiya, Teknaf, Kutupalong new Extension-Camp 3,4,6 and 7 Ukhiya and camp 21,26 and 27 (Jadimura, kerontoli, and Shalbagan) work areas of Teknaf. Both male and female of Rohingya refugee will be entitled to receive the legal and psychosocial support from the project. 

During the project period, a total number of 23,1759 people from different corner of the work areas will participate in the activities. This project will be implemented for the 100% refugee population. This project will be implemented from January 2019 to December 2019.  

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