Women and Justice: Keywords

Memoranda

Child Marriage in Bangladesh: Causes, Consequences, and Legal Framework (2013)


Divorce and dissolution of marriage, Forced and early marriage, Gender discrimination

This memorandum discusses the context, causes, consequences, and legal framework of child marriage in Bangladesh



Child Marriage in Bangladesh: Occurrence and Links to Sexual Harrassment (2013)


Forced and early marriage, Gender discrimination

This memorandum examines the occurrence of child marriage in Bangladesh and explores its link with sexual harassment. Bangladesh has one of the highest occurrences of child marriage in the world. This high rate of marriage of girls below the age of 18 is due to a variety of causes, including patriarchal social mores, parental desire to safeguard girls against premarital sex and out-of-wedlock pregnancies (and the associated social stigma associated with these), and poverty, linked with the perception of girls as an economic burden. In addition to these more widely known causes of early marriage, the widespread prevalence of severe and public sexual harassment in Bangladesh is gaining attention as an important, albeit lesser-studied cause of child marriage.



Child Marriage in Bangladesh: Birth and Marriage Registration (2013)


Forced and early marriage, Gender discrimination

This memorandum discusses the link between child marriage and birth and marriage registration. Section I of this memorandum focuses on birth registration, including the importance of registration, government and civil society birth registration initiatives in Bangladesh and the factors that perpetuate low rates of birth registration and recommendations for overcoming them. Section II briefly introduces marriage registration, the unreliability of which also contributes to Bangladesh’s high rates of child marriage.



Child Marriage in Bangladesh: Impact of Discriminatory Personal Laws (2013)


Forced and early marriage

This Memorandum discusses the impact of personal laws on the treatment of child marriage within Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s antiquated personal laws relating to marriage fail to protect children,reinforce support for early marriage, and directly contradict statutory law in Bangladesh. Examining Bangladesh’s current legal framework highlights the problematic influence that discriminatory personal laws have on the fulfillment of national and international obligations concerning child marriage.



International Case Law

Hadijatou Mani Koraou v. Republic of Niger ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (2008)


Forced and early marriage, Gender discrimination, Gender-based violence in general, Harmful traditional practices, Sexual violence and rape, Trafficking in persons

The applicant, who was born to a mother in slavery, was sold to a local chief at age 12. For the next nine years she was subjected to rape, violence, and forced labor without remuneration. When Niger’s Supreme Court failed to convict her "owner" under Article 270.1-5 of the Nigerien Criminal Code, which made slavery illegal in 2003, the applicant brought her case before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice under Article 9(4) of the Supplementary Protocol A/SP.1/01/05. The court ruled that the applicant had been a slave under the definition in Article 1 (I) of the Slavery Convention of 1926 and that in failing to convict her former "owner," Niger had not upheld its legal responsibility to protect her from slavery under international law. This case was the first ECOWAS ruling on slavery and only the second conviction made under Niger’s 2003 anti-slavery law. The case gained a high level of publicity, setting the precedent for women to fight back against the traditional slavery practices common to Niger and other ECOWAS nations. As of 2009, there had been approximately 30 more cases upholding the prohibition of slavery in Niger.