Author Archive

Tahrat Naushaba Shahid

Tahrat Shahid is currently writing her DPhil dissertation in the Department of Politics at the University of Oxford on the sexual equalization of inheritance laws in Bangladesh. Prior to Oxford, She was a research associate at the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management network of the World Bank in Washington, DC. Among a range of experiences during the past decade, She has co-founded a trust providing free medical services in Bangladesh, worked in the Research Department of the Central Bank of Turkey in Ankara, and spent two years in financial research at Morgan Stanley in New York City. She also received her Master’s degree in Public Administration and International Development (MPA/ID) at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

I’ve published a new policy brief with the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, exploring the vexed issue of women’s rights on the Indian subcontinent, through the prism of the shifting emphasis of secularism and Islam in the Bangladeshi Constitution, and the impact this has on gender equality and family law. As the world reacts to the conviction of the four men whose gang rape of a young woman in a moving bus in Delhi sparked riots and international condemnation, the policy brief, entitled Islam and Women in the Constitution of Bangladesh, provides a timely insight into the complex interrelation of law, religion and gender politics on the subcontinent. My report finds that whilst the Constitution has been referred to in only a limited fashion in cases involving the protection and enhancement of women’s rights, notable exceptions include violence against women resulting from religious edicts: “In response to a spate of violence directed at young rural women as part of their sentencing by fatwa … the Supreme Court declared such sentences unconstitutional in 2001.”

https://blog.politics.ox.ac.uk/podcast-player/1640/the-responsibility-to-protect-the-imperative-and-the-challenge.mp3Download file | Play in new windowAt the University of Oxford Alumni Weekend, 17 September 2011, Dr Hugo Slim and Professor Jennifer Welsh, from the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC), discussed the concept of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ or R2P in contemporary international relations, and its role in key cases such as Libya and post-election violence in Kenya. Dr Slim discussed the rise of the idea that certain people should be protected in times of war, suggesting that the word ‘civilian’ became a centrepiece of policy during the Bosnian War of the 1990s. He went on to talk about the role and types of ideology that encourage violence against civilians during conflict. Anti-civilian ideology, or the idea that a whole group of …