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Title: Personal laws of Bangladesh : a gender study in light of the equality-approach of the constitution
Author: Tamanna, Nowrin
ISNI:       0000 0001 3496 9424
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2005
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The thesis explores the possibilities of extending the Constitutional guarantee of equality into the sphere of personal laws in Bangladesh. It examines the validity of the arguments generally put forward against the applicability of equality guarantee in the sphere of personal laws with a view to exploring grounds for challenging such arguments. In Bangladesh the Constitution affords the right to equality to every citizen but the actual experience and status of women, as determined by personal laws is that of inequality, subordination and disadvantage. The study maintains that the existing division of the legal system into "public" and "private" in the form of "general" and "personal" serves as a device to exclude women from the protection of the Constitution and leaves the personal sphere to be regulated by the discriminatory religious laws. This has profound implications for women's right as the religious laws as understood and applied in Bangladesh deny women equal rights within the family and contribute to their subordination and disadvantage in the society. The thesis therefore, addresses this dichotomy and its present feminist critique with a view to considering its relevance and application in the legal context of Bangladesh, that is, in the form of the general-personal law, weighing the arguments in the light of feminist critique with a view to extending an "equality-approach" into the personal sphere. The thesis aims to illustrate conventional legal wisdom regarding the scope of the equality principle and support its application in the sphere of personal laws through progressive interpretation. To this end, the thesis explores and compares the concepts of equality as they have taken specific and varied juridic form in different countries with a view to assessing what form gender equality could effectively take in the context of Bangladesh. In doing so, the research reviews feminist literature covering theories and debates related to issues such as essentialism, formal versus substantive equality, equality and Islam etc.
Supervisor: Conaghan, Joanne Sponsor: JISC Digital Islam
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: J Political Science