Hindu Women Seek Right To Divorce In Overwhelmingly Muslim Bangladesh
Hindus in the overwhelmingly Muslim and impoverished nation of Bangladesh face a number of human rights issues, more than forty years after the formation of the state. For example, Hindu women are forbidden from getting a divorce, from inheriting property from their families, or even having their marriages registered in the first place.
"Is it a crime to be born a Hindu girl?” a young Hindu woman named Rani told Agence France Presse (AFP).
"I can’t inherit any property. I can’t divorce my husband and remarry even though he left me for another woman and beat me all the time.”
While Bangladesh has a secular legal structure for most matters, things like marriage, divorce and inheritance are subject to religious dictums.
Nina Goswami, a civil rights attorney and member of the rights campaigner Ain O Salish Kendra, told AFP: "At the moment, when a Hindu man walks out on a marriage, the wife can’t sue him for alimony or maintenance because lack of marriage papers make it almost impossible to prove that they were married at all. Tens of thousands of Hindu men keep multiple wives, knowing that they can’t be prosecuted.” (...)