Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association [BNWLA] is a lawyer’s association based in Dhaka. It was established in 1979. Its main goal is “to create equal opportunities and equal rights for every woman and child in the country.” BNWLA promotes the rights and status of women lawyers alongside fighting for access to justice for all women & children particularly for the most disadvantaged and deprived women and children in Bangladesh.
BNWLA, as a Human Rights organization with a special focus on establishment of women & children rights always appeared as a pressure group to the government & international bodies & tried to keep the realities of women & children in the public eye. It has been found that without proper policy formulation and action, it is not possible to ensure any positive changes in overall developments of women and children.
Following that, BNWLA is trying to bring changes in the society and also to ensure access to justice from grassroots to national level through partnership, networking and policy level advocacy. The organization followed thematic approaches (prevention, protection , rehabilitation and reintegration) and specific strategies [1. advocacy for introduction and reform of law/policies (including research, dialogues, seminars/workshops, PIL, media, Networking, Partnership); 2.right-based prevention, protection & integration supports (including comprehensive women and child friendly packages like legal, shelter, development, psychosocial counseling & others); 3. enhancing member women lawyers’ professional capacity to act as “ Change Agents”] to resist countrywide violence against women and children & fulfill its vision “ to establish rule of law with gender equality”.
BNWLA’S governing body, The Executive Committee is elected every two years through direct votes of its general members across the country. The committee has seventeen  member with a President, two  Vice Presidents, a General Secretary, a Joint Secretary, a Treasurer and a Joint Treasurer ten  members. The governing body is independent, involved in the functioning of the organization, specifically on policy making, strategic development, monitoring, evaluation and advising the members and staff. Roles and responsibilities of the governing body for financial planning, reporting and related internal control are formally defined and documented in the organizations constitution and executive meetings minutes. All members of the executive committee are practicing lawyers of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and engaged in pro bono services since long years. Executive Committee scrutinizes all activities of the organization on monthly and quarterly basis. Besides, Executive Committee arranges annual general meetings and need based meetings.
In the year 2018 BNWLA enters into 29 years of its existence. With the involvement of women lawyer members and 64 legal centers at 16 Upazilla and 64 unions [including char, hill and coastal areas] BNWLA has been able to make its legal service more accessible to the vulnerable women and children. Since 1991, BNWLA has strengthened civil service organizations, established networks and made partnership nationally, regionally and internationally to maximize support for women and children. BNWLA also has Paribarik Nirjaton Protirodh Dal, Nari Nirjaton Pratirodh Dal, Student Action Group, Cultural Group, Study Group, Adolescent Committee, Village Development Committee and Vigilance Team. All these work on gender equality, stop child marriage, combat trafficking and violence against women and children related issues at the grassroots level done by the mentioned team.
Ensure rule of law and gender equality by accountable, transparent democratic practice of state to respect human rights and fundamental rights.
Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) is a human rights organization engaging themselves with proactive individuals and institutions for establishing rule of law and gender equality.
With a slogan of “Helping to balance scales” and a mission to “Enable women to become self-reliant, conscious of their rights and productive members of society founded on justice,” BNWLA is committed to achieve the following objectives :
- Organize women to develop their status in the community.
- Improve women’s and children’s domestic, social, legal and economic status.
- Provide justice for all and combat violence against women and children.
- Create equal opportunities and equal rights for every woman and child in Bangladesh.
- Establish linkage and network with law enforcing authorities, local people, local elected bodies and civil rights of women and children.
- Promote women lawyers of Bangladesh to enhance their scope of profession in the society.
- Adopt measures to remove all forms of discrimination and harassment against women.
Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association