International Law Firms

International  Law Firms

Introduction “In every known society, the male’s need for achievement can be recognized.  Men may cook, or weave, or dress dolls or hunt hummingbirds, but if such activities are appropriate occupations of men, then the whole society, men and women alike, votes them as important.  AWhen the same occupations are performed by women, they are regarded as less important.” Margaret Mead, Male and Female Sexuality is a historical construction, which carries out biological and psychological possibilities – gender identity, physical differences, reproductive capacities, needs, desires and fantasies – within destined multiethnic circumstance. The forms of sexual behaviors which are described in different situations may counterpoint greatly with the way individuals may act voluntarily and so on. Sexuality encompasses all the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors related with being male or female, being attractive and being in love, as well as being in relationships that include sexual intimacy, sensuality, sexual activity, and social and cultural meanings. In concrete sense, sexuality is not biological fact; rather, it is a culturally determined experience, created by the intimate world and the material world of human lives, thence Parker et al conceptualized sexuality as “the system of meaning, of knowledge, belief and practices, that structure sexuality in different social contexts.” interpersonal contexts." Thus, “Culture shapes individual sexuality through roles, norms, and attitude, which contribute to the construction of a shared experiential meaning.” In this sense, sexuality and gender are thus socially defined by what individuals actually do, which grows at the level of subjectivity through process of negotiating with a particular cultural context.

The Legacy of Domination by Men “Feminism turns theory into itself, the pursuit of a true analysis of social life, into the pursuit of consciousness, and turns an analysis of inequality into a critical embrace of its own determinants.  The process is transformative as well as perceptive, since thought and thing are inextricable and reciprocally constitutive of women’s oppression, just as the state is coercion and the state as legitimating ideology is indistinguishable, and for the same reasons.” Catherine MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of State, 84 Western political philosophy implies a hypothesis of universal human nature and experience, with the universal infliction of the Enlightenment idea of modernization seen as an improvement typically proffered by the West to the developing countries.  Traditional views of the state as the guarantor of welfare has meant that movements by women to attain the same opportunities to engage in the activities of the state as men have provide a basic source of division and definition in political society[1]. Human interaction with the biosphere has typically been subjugated to the hegemony of ‘man’e domination over the Earth’, with women and the biosphere treated by the law as man’s chattels, whereby the facility provided by each in turn was viewed as a contribution towards what Francis Bacon described as the “inconveniences of man’s estate.” Given the enormous pressure that reform measures have placed on feminists wishing to redress the inequalities and injustices foisted upon them by the men who dominated the legal bureaucracy that coercively guide our lives, it appears there has been relatively little attention focused within legal theory concerning the interaction of women, ecology and the law. [2]

Feminism and Ecology “We have got to the stage where women are finally saying ‘the emperor has got no clothes’.  You can’t whitewash women any more.  Our arguments are too sophisticated and have gone way beyond what are ordinarily considered feminist issues.” Peggy Antrobus, speaking at the Global Forum, 1992[3] Feminist debate of ecological issues tends to stand by the fact that important connections subsist between women's oppression and the persecution of nature[4], but they often disagree about the nature of those connections and whether those connections may be “potentially liberating or simply a rationale for the continued subjugation of women.”[5] Therefore, whilst many feminists agree that ecology is a feminist issue, there is disagreement about the nature and desirability environmental feminism, of which the best known appearance is eco-feminism, as a legitimate form of criticism.[6] The implicit thesis of eco-feminism is that irrespective of our cognizance of it, each of us operates from a socially constructed conceptual support which shape, reflect and explain our self-perception and worldview, whilst a paternal conceptual framework is one that takes traditionally male-identified beliefs, values, attitudes and assumptions as the exclusive, or the standard or superior one. The relatively new articulated notions of ecofeminism, derived mainly from a union of radical cultural feminism and ecological environmentalism add a vital element to the construction of an understanding of how patriarchal systems of domination have both evolved and been reinforced through the legal mechanisms we subscribe to. Eco-feminists mostly believe that patriarchal value-hierarchical thinking supports the generation of normative dualisms, where higher value is attributed to one entity over another.  The connections between oppression of women and persecution of nature are thus conceptual, and what ecofeminism encourages us to do is to reckon about the ways we create our lives and to believe ourselves out of “patriarchic conceptual traps.”[7] Patriarchal conceptual frameworks, defined by value-hierarchical cerebration, typically lead to logic of domination that explain, justify and maintain the subordination of an ‘inferior’ group by a ‘superior’ group, whilst denying that oppression is accompanied by the regime.[8]

Concept of Sexuality in Islam Discourse on sexuality in Islam is strongly correlated with discourse of marriage within which sexual consummation can be achieved. Islam deters unmarried people in guiding their sexual strength to correct channels, marriage. Hence, in Islam every path to and types of sex without marriage, sexual promiscuousness, homosexual orientation, adultery, fornication, prostitution and so on are extremely prohibited. Murata (1992) analyzes that it has roots in the verses saying, "And everything We created a pair that ye may receive instruction (51:49)" and "that He did create in pairs- male and female. (53:45)". It is, also, the basis of a generally formal appraisal of human sexual relationship in Islam. After all, Islam tried to balance the sexual relationships between men and women binding them largely in a social institution called marriage, ultimately giving male the power of dominance.

Sexual Relationship in Hinduism According to Hinduism, a woman is a form of energy (shaktiswarupini) or an aspect of Sakti. She is mata, the Mother Goddess, or devi the lucky one. As a young child she is kanya, the goddess Durga. As a wife she is patni and saha dharma charini, a partner in her spouse's devout duties. As a mother she is worthy of worship (matrudevobhava). As a child she is supposed to stay in the keeping and maintenance of her parents. After getting married, she becomes a property and responsibility of her husband, who is supposed to fulfill her needs and expectations and preserve her in his keeping. As his wife, she performs four roles: 1. as his servant (dasi) in duty, 2. as his minister (mantri) in decision making, 3. as a mother (mata) to his children and 4. as a lover (rambha) in his bed. And when she becomes old, she lives in the shelter of her son or sons and has to lead a very inaccessible and godforsaken life. In ancient times, when a Hindu died, his wife either committed sati on his funeral pyre or retired into a life of social damnation, devout rumination and repeated isolation. Now the situation has changed to some extent. Sati is not legal and an anathema. But the total scenario is not yet friendly to the women even nowadays. Women are deprived of their human rights regarding properties and their decision making in choosing sexual partners as well.

Patriarchy Ruth (1980) defined patriarchy is a system of structures and institutions created by men in order to sustain and recreate male power and female subordination. “Patriarchy is a system of structures and institutions created by men in order to sustain and recreate male power and female subordination. Such structures include; institutions as the law, religion, and the family; ideologies which perpetuate the “naturally” inferior position of women; socialization process to ensure that women and men develop behavior and belief systems appropriate to the powerful or less powerful group to which belief systems appropriate to the powerful or less powerful group to which they belong (S. Ruth, 1980).” In the same sense, Walby supported that “patriarchy as a system of social structure and practices in which men are dominant to oppress and to exploit women.” The term social structure indicates that it is not biological determinism, rather it is social construction in which every man is dominating and every woman is dominated. According to Walby, patriarchy is a dynamic system which can metamorphose into many forms.  When women do win a victory, then patriarchal force will regroup and retain control over women in another way[9]. For example, if a couple have the same educational background; mostly they are equal in relation. It means women do win, not to be under control in term of education. However, patriarchal power will regain control over woman with a different way, for example through discourse of romantic over the jargon of love needs sacrificing, then it forces a woman to do anything under the name of love, including serving her partner. There is no single patriarchy. It has manifold patterns, in which the degrees and actors of women's oppression are various. In case of female sexuality, the constructors of belief are both men and women[10]. The degree of male domination, female autonomy, hierarchy of males in every society, the women produced by media, is extremely reflected the multi faces of patriarchy. Therefore, multiple face of patriarchy creates diversities of women’s realities, thus shaping women’s subjectivity.

Patriarchal Practices which lead to the control of female sexuality by males Due to the fact that the most of the cultures in the world are patriarchal, female sexuality is largely in the hands of males. If we look closely at some aspects of African cultures, it is prominent that sexual subordination is a key factor for the patriarchal powers to retain their controls over women. The payment of lobola, levirate marriages, arranged marriages, and rape will be used as examples. Payment of lobola In the Shona content, by good of the commerce of lobola, children belong to the dysphemism and inherit the father's surname, totem as excavation as citizenship. Moreover, ringed women cannot location on their citizenship rights to their children change though lone mothers can. This is due to the fact that, many African laws rise ethnical customs, which are split of the patriarchic method in which women dwell subsidiary positions. All the corresponding, lobola gives a man all rights whilst the friend is stripped of all freedom and rights. She is further reduced to the state of acquired object. The scenario has gone worse in cases where the lobola was set at a altissimo to shout if the spouse fails to be good to her husband equal though 'she was compensated for'. As a proof, lobola, which is ingredient of the paternal nature of our lodge breeds inequality and widens the gap between men and women, thereby placing women in a subject point. Levirate Marriages According to the culture of Shona, when one's spouse dies, the woman is foreseen to tie one of her past partner's brothers. If the wife fails to follow she risks being transmitted to her parents leaving behind her children and all that she toiled for. On the contrary, if a man is widowed, he is supposed to have his late wife’s younger sister as his next spouse. And the young must be a virgin. She cannot opine because that is resolution of her culture. Arranged marriages Family arranged marriages are common phenomenon of the Shona traditions and elsewhere in Zimbabwe and beyond. These can be supported on institution specified as in the apostolic sect where youngish girls are wed off to senior aged members of the sect supported on foreshadowing revelations. These young girls have nothing to oppose even though their new husbands are of their fathers’ age. Rather they are afraid of being outcaste. In whatever cases, when there is a drought in the locality, parents espouse off their daughters to moneyed members of the grouping in transfer for money or food. In uttermost cases, some fathers espouse off their daughters to their debtors when they miscarry to give their debts. Furthermore, in organization to appease irate spirits, following a murder, a young virgin is presented to the harsh family as a wife. In all these cases, the virgin, involved, is not supposed to opine as that will not comply with the resolutions of the sect. Rape Women’s lack of control over their sexuality is also displayed through the rape of young girls by male relatives[11]. A myth is created stating that sex with a virgin is a healing process for HIV, and thus young girls, in many cases, have been made the subjects of experiment. On the contrary if husbands do not support using contraceptives, married women have no choice other than obeying the husbands. In addition, if women suspect their husband of infidelity, they cannot force having safe sex as the husbands are the dominants[12]. Even prostitutes cannot insist their male clients on using condoms in the time of sexual intercourse, resulting in a high rate of HIV infections. And these scenario of women’s sexual deprivation and subordination is prominent everywhere whether they are young, married or single.

Women as subalterns in the colonial and post-colonial world Both women and 'natives' are minority groups who are unfairly characterized by the meddling 'male gaze', which is an aspect of both structure and colonialism. Both groups of people have been reduced to stereotypes (virgin, whore, pattern, pagan) and denied an operator by the system that entraps them. In recent past, post-colonial studies has reacted to this standpoint and afterward attached itself with the provision of gender, request to what extent this affects the lives of colonial subjects who also happen to be women, i.e. work whether sexual or colonial oppression is one of the most significant factors in women's lives. To my mind, colonialism is the greater evil, because it automatically entails the danger of misogynistic, patriarchal beliefs, specifying the fact that imperialism was unequivocally male-centered and euro-centric, labeling all foreign women as alien subaltern.

The subordination of women in Bangladesh and treatment of gender issues The subordination of the number  of  women  is  illustrated  by the  attitudes  of  men  rooting  in  socially  and  culturally directed  concepts  of  gender  roles  which  keep  women from  being self  reliant:  for  example,  belief  in  `pordah’ reduces female mobility and the scope for overladen involvement in nationalistic  experience,  as  in education and  job-markets; thus, it enhances dependence. Women are seen as inferior by most men, still in professions suchlike journalism.  Women’s activity is undervalued both in position of payment and status.  Women  are primarily  predicted  to  be  wives  and  mothers  intermeshed  in undervalued  activities like  reproducing  and  rearing up  children, cooking, cleansing and taking care of the household. But, as Bhattacharya  points  out,  it  is  in  the  non-traditional  sphere  of manufacturing that women may look changes in the  sexual categorization of labor, higher incomes and a concomitant replace in social attitudes. The states inability to contain poverty, illiteracy and corruption has exhibited limitations on the civil rights of women and ensured their danger. Their search for a better life often leads them to fall prey to unprincipled men who traffic in women in the foreign countries.  Often, their deficiency of knowledge regarding their rights  prevents  them  from  exercising  these  despite  the unveiling  of  legal  literacy  programs  in  1986  to conscientise and enhance women’s power.  They  are  not  sufficiently fortified  from  domestic violence,  including  dowry  deaths, because these are not considered as criminal offences which move under the jurisdiction of secular state laws, but are characterized as family  quarrels  to  be  resolved  under  habitual  laws adjudicated  in  family courts. Women's deprivation is also ensured by the policies of the patriarchic post-colonial tell of Bangladesh which is not fully pledged to female equality. On the contrary, it has endorsed aggression and injustices against women, both in the sequestered and public spheres, through its failure to deter violence and deprivation against women. The  existing  judicial  grouping was bypassed by the  fatwa courts which pronounced verdicts of modification on the writer, Taslima Nasreen and others, whereas, in fact these institutions have no judicial authority to do so under the constitution. Ultimately, the government took no action against them. That reveals the inability of the state to face the reality that women are oppressed everywhere in the society.[13] Conclusion All these things resulted in the growth of the concepts in the patriarchic mentality of the guild that women are only toys or consumer products that are subjects to be used by the males dominating the society in most cases. Thus, sexual relationships are considered to be fulfilling the bodily needs of the males not making any sense of equality to be established. Subordination, sense of otherness and sexual oppressions are nourishing ingredients for the patriarchic conduct to be dominating over natural, biological sexual relationships. The patriarchal nature of our society has imposed gender inequality to the extent of allowing male domination and female subordination. This unfortunate state of affairs has been ignited by the socialization process, therefore to amend the situation this calls for re-socialization. Peoples in the field of mass teaching or any form of public communication should aim at highlighting the fact that how culture has created a huge gap between men and women. In addition to this, patriarchy should be treated as it really is, i.e. as a social construction and not a biological construction. Sufficient scope and environment should be created for women’s education aiming at the change of their conscience that how culture imprisons them since the majority of them have accepted the so called imposed status of them to the extend that they comply with the male domination.


1.      D. Bhattacharya, op. cit., pp. 13-14.
2.      Fatema  Rashid  HASAN  "Limits  and  Possibilities  of  law  and  legal  literacy: experience of Bangladesh Women", Economic and Political Weekly, Oct. 29, 1994, pp. WS-69-76.
3.      Grant, R., and Newland, K., 1991, Gender and International Relations, Open University Press, 93
4.      Gray, D., Green Paradise Lost, Roundtable Press, 1981 16.
5.      Gruenbaun, 2001. p. 40-42
6.      Hinduism and Women, by Jayaram V.
9.      Humanlike Rights Observe, 2001.
10.  Kazi Sufia AKHTER, "Shishu o nari pachar prasange", Edesh Ekal, No. 2, April 1988, pp.23-26.
11.  King, Y., ‘Feminism and the Revolt of Nature’ (1981) Heresies #13: Feminism and Ecology, Vol. 4, 12.
12.  Meursing and Sibindi, 1995.
13.  Murshid Tazeen Mahnaz, “Women, Islam and the State in Bangladesh Subordination and Resistance”
14.  Nahid BAKR "Problems faced by women journalists in Bangladesh", in Firdous Azim and Niaz Zaman (eds.), Infinite Variety, Dhaka, University Press Ltd., 1994, pp. 319-21. 15.  Peggy Antrobus, 29/6/1992, speaking at the Global Forum, Rio de Janiero, June 1992, cited in Women’s new world order in summit Truth Tent, The Age Newspaper, Melbourne: The Age.
16.  Taylor, S., ‘Women and Environments’ (1989) Changing Directions: The Proceedings of Ecopolitics IV, University of Adelaide, 603.
17.  Thesis on “Contesting discourse on sexuality and sexual subjectivity among single young women in pesantren”.
18.  Walby, Sylvia. Gender Mainstreaming: Productive Tensions in Theory and Practice.
19.  Warren, K., ‘Feminism and Ecology: Making Connections’ (1987) Environmental Ethics, Vol. 9, 4. [1] Grant, R., and Newland, K., 1991, Gender and International Relations, Open University Press, 93 [2] That only one sex has the capacity to give birth has profoundly impacted the development of human culture. Historically the direct consequence of this inequitable means of human reproduction has been the subordination of the female sex. Before undertaking an analysis of the documentary evidence from the Ancient Mesopotamian societies, it is imperative to look closely at the situation of the Neolithic people who inhabited the area prior to state formation in Mesopotamia in order to determine what changes, if any, occurred in gender roles as societies adapted to an agricultural way of life. The archaeological and anthropological evidence of human culture in prehistorical times overwhelmingly indicates that, before the widespread permeation of a sedentary, agricultural ay of life, males and females lived together in relatively egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies. Jane Peterson argues that “male and female activity spheres overlapped considerably” during Neolithic time periods.1 Peterson highlights the difficulties in making accurate determinations of gender roles in prehistory, including labor distribution among the sexes, due to the ambiguity of the evidence available for analysis. [3] Peggy Antrobus, 29/6/1992, speaking at the Global Forum, Rio de Janiero, June 1992, cited in Women’s new world order in summit Truth Tent, The Age Newspaper, Melbourne: The Age. [4] Warren, K., ‘Feminism and Ecology: Making Connections’ (1987) Environmental Ethics, Vol. 9, 4. [5] King, Y., ‘Feminism and the Revolt of Nature’ (1981) Heresies #13: Feminism and Ecology, Vol. 4, 12. [6] Taylor, S., ‘Women and Environments’ (1989) Changing Directions: The Proceedings of Ecopolitics IV, University of Adelaide, 603. [7] Gray, D., Green Paradise Lost, Roundtable Press, 1981 16. [8] Prior to the invention of writing sexual norms and taboos were enforced by the authority in all city-states, but writing resulted in the codification of laws to regulate society. Marriage rituals and correlating social roles predated the existence of marriage laws. Religious and cultic sexual practices similarly functioned as social constructs which assigned specific sexual roles to females prior to the codification any laws written to regulate such practices. It was inevitable, however, that these practices and rituals would become codified as writing became an integral part of managing urban life. The patriarchal institution of marriage acted as the primary means bywhich subjugation of the female sex was written into law. The extant law codes of Sumer, Babylon, and Assyria reveal the extent to which matters of reproductive rights and female sexuality troubled society such that legislation was necessary to egulate certain aspects of these phenomena. The codified laws of these societies effectively compartmentalized female sexuality and commodified female reproductive capacity, which were crucial steps in the subjugation of the female sex. The social institutions of marriage and religion served to reinforce these cultures’ definitions of normal, acceptable sexual activity and, in the process, relegated women’s sexuality solely to the realm of reproduction. By formalizing patriarchal inheritance rights and reducing women’s control over their own procreative power, women were confined to the private sphere of life; their influence and prestige were made ineffective. The law codes demonstrate how the cultures of the Ancient Mesopotamian societies of Sumer, Babylon, and Assyria formalized the subjugation of women in the ancient world. The codification of laws which prevented women from asserting any control over their reproductive capacity was a crucial step in reducing the social power available to women. When consulting law codes as a source of historical understanding it must be acknowledged that, while the laws do not necessarily reflect actual behavior, they nevertheless provide insight into problems facing a society; legislation regulating a behavior only comes about when the behavior presents a problem to the orderly functioning of a society. By legislating acceptable sexual encounters between different classes of women and men the cultures of Ancient Mesopotamia dictated acceptable forms of sexuality and sexual expression. The result, as evidenced in the law codes, was a highly inequitable situation between males and females; women’s sexuality was confined to being manifest in particular situations for very specific – that is, reproductive – purposes while men were free to sexually cavort in whatever manner they wished. [9] Walby, 1998. p.20 and 173. [10] Gruenbaun, 2001. p. 40-42. [11] Humanlike Rights Observe, 2001. [12] Meursing and Sibindi, 1995. [13] Murshid Tazeen Mahnaz, “Women, Islam and the State in Bangladesh Subordination and Resistance”

International Law Firms

International Law Firms

Table Of Contents

No. Name of Titles Page
* Introduction 1
1. Access To Justice 1
2. Legal Aid

2.1 Mediation

2.2 Litigation

2.3 Awareness/Training

2.4 Gopigagh Legal Aid Clinic

2.5 Investigation

3. Access To Justice Through Legal Aid 3
4. “It is difficult to judge the success of reforms in legal aid provision as we lack agreement on the aim and objectives of a legal aid system”.Discuss.

4.1 History of Legal Aid System

4.2 Changes and Advantages in Legal Aid System

4.3 Limitations of Access to Justice Act (AJA)-1999

4.4 Carter Review

4.5 Legal Aid System in Bangladesh

* Conclusion 11


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