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Women's land rights violation rampant despite legal reforms

Speakers tell webinar

FE REPORT | May 31, 2021 00:00:00

Despite reforms made in the land related laws in the recent years, those are not properly implemented thus resulting in violation of women and religious minorities' rights to land, speakers observed at a webinar on Sunday.

They also said procrastination in the judiciary due to lack of human resources, bureaucracy and intervention of influential people in the processes are also responsible for this.

They made the observations at a virtual dialogue titled "Women and religious minorities' rights to land and security," jointly organised by the Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh and Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).

Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury attended the programme as the chief guest.

Convener of the Citizen Platform Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya moderated the discussion with Convener of Nijera Kori Khushi Kabir in the chair.

Director General of Land Record and Survey Department Md Taslimul Islam, former Member of Parliament (MP) Ushatan Talukdar, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad Rana Dasgupta, Chakma Queen and noted human rights activist Rani Yan Yan and president of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad Fauzia Moslem spoke among others.

Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury said the government is sincere about settling various land-related disputes, which is reflected in a significant number of reforms in the related laws.

However, there are some bottlenecks in land distribution, he said, adding improper land survey is one of the key problems.

"Many issues emerge in the country due to land survey," the minister said adding: "We need to streamline our land survey; we are now looking to use modern technologies like drone to ensure accuracy of the survey."

He also said the government is paying attention to conserve arable land.

Debapriya Bhattacharya said access to land rights is a major problem for many underprivileged segments of the society in the country including women, religious minorities and aborigines.

"Social, political and other safety issues become crucial when one attempts to ensure land rights," he said.

ALRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda presented a keynote paper in the webinar.

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