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Bangladesh

Discrepancies/gaps between statutory and customary laws

- Although Article 28[2] of the Constitution grants women equal rights with men “in all spheres of the State and of public life”, it does not extend this principle to the private sphere, where it recognizes and allows for personal laws based on religion and custom to regulate people’s life in relation to inheritance, marriage and divorce. In practice, these traditional rules do not always match with the constitutional provisions on gender equality of rights (15).

- Although, the 1980 Dowry Prohibition Act prohibits the exchange of a dowry upon marriage, the practice is still commonly used. As a matter of fact, women face ulterior discrimination and domestic violence as a consequence of non-payment of dowry (4).

- Despite the Child Marriage Restraint Amendment Ordinance, of 1984 fixed the minimum age for marriage at 18 years for women, in rural areas, girls are being married well below the minimum age of 18 years. The absence of the birth registration practice makes this law hard to enforce particularly in rural areas (4).

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography