Islamists protest Dhaka’s equal rights to women policy

March 9th, 2011 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, March 9 (IANS) Stating that a woman never be equal to man “according to Islam”, Islamist parties in Bangladesh have called for a daylong strike next month to protest the government’s Women’s Development Policy 2011.

Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ), a grouping of Islamist parties that is a constituent of the opposition alliance led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia, has called for a daylong countrywide general strike for April 4.

The government announced its policy on International Women’s Day Tuesday.

IOJ chairman Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini announced the shutdown programme at a rally organised in the national capital.

It also formed a human chain in front of the high court Wednesday.

Calling upon Muslims to enforce the general strike, Amini alleged that the government had gone “against Quran by adopting such a policy”.

Bangladesh is an Islamic Republic with a predominantly Muslim population.

He said: “According to Islam, a woman can never be equal to a man.”

He vowed to continue a strong movement until the women development policy was revoked, New Age newspaper reported.

Some other religion-based political parties like the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamist party, the Khelafat Majlish and the Ulema Mashayekh Parishad organised separate rallies in the city on the issue.

They also threatened to wage a strong movement to compel the government to cancel the “anti-Islamic policy”.

On Monday, the cabinet approved a draft of the much-awaited Women Development Policy 2011 recognising women’s equal right to property but keeping mum about their equal right to inherited property.

The women and children affairs ministry placed the draft updating the policy of 1997 at the weekly meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina.

The National Women Development Policy adopted in 1997 stipulated equal rights of women to inheritance of property and land.

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