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Abstract

In Bangladesh, sharia law goes hand in hand with the statutory laws of the land. These laws are both conjointly used to regulate and monitor the issues of divorce among Muslims of the country. Orthodox Islamic laws provide husbands with the authority of issuing divorce or talaq to their wives known as Talaq-e-Tawfiz (popularly known as tawfiz) in the kabinnama (the written document of the contract of marriage). Women’s power to exercise the tawfiz, however, depends solely on the will of their husbands. Although Muslim women are capable of repudiating their marriages by the process of khula or mubarat, these are only executable under the free consent of their husbands. Also, the statutory laws of Bangladesh address Muslim women’s right to the dissolution of marriage by the intervention of the court, only under several grounds. The traditional interpretation of sharia law and the statutory laws of the country are both unwilling to establish Muslim women’s absolute right to renounce marriage as with their male counterparts. Current research reveals that this violation of gender equality and women’s rights generates female subordination in society and gives birth to numerous socio-legal complications.

Note on the Author

Shahnewaj is a Programme Officer at the ARTICLE 19 Bangladesh and South Asia. He is also a lawyer working on Civil Rights and Human Rights. His research articles have been published in national and international acclaimed journals. His research interest focuses on financial governance, health policy and personal law. Shahnewaj can be reached at newazuaplaw@gmail.com.

Dr. Abu Noman Mohammad Atahar Ali is an Associate Professor of the Department of Law at the North South University, Bangladesh. He is also employed as an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Business and Law, University of Wollongong. He has extensively published his research in different leading journals in the US, Europe and Australia. He can be reached at abu.ali@northsouth.edu.

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