Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS) and Progressive jointly organized a seminar on “Violence against Ethnic Women in Family, Society and Customary law” on 10 December 2014 at Ashika Auditorium of Rangamati. The seminar was presided over by Sucharita Chakma, the Executive Director of Progressive, honorable MP of the constituency Ushaton Talukdar was present in the seminar as Chief Guest, and Prokriti Ranjan Chakma was the special guest. Dipayan Khisa and Zorita Chama presented their speech as distinguished discussant. The other discussants were Shahnaz Sumi, Deputy Director, BNPS; Dilara Rekha, Coordinator, BNPS; Hari Kishore Chakma, Shanti Bijoy,Chanchana Chakma, Thoai Aung Marma, Manisha Chakma in the seminar presented by Tuku Talukdar.
Chief Guest Ushaton Talukdar, MP, said that, to ensure justice the verdicts of traditional social courts have to be recorded and preserved properly. Proper trainings should be provided for writing and preservation of verdicts and proceedings. Women representation has to be ensured during the hearings in social judgment.
The discussants said that, due to racial discrimination, oppression, religious violence the ethnic women from the hill-tracts become easy target. For this reason, the ethnic women become victim of rape, murder, kidnapping and sexual harassments every day. In the Chittagong Hill-tracts area 11 ethnic communities does not have written customary law. For a long time, ancient practices and regulations have been considered as customary laws. With the social change many of those practices and regulations have been changed. But due to patriarchal social system and traditional culture, there are a lot of discriminatory practices and regulations against women are still going on. As a result, women are becoming victim of violence. In the ethnic societies, there is no system of marriage registration and no written documents are prepared for marriage. As there is no written document, many times married women are cheated by dishonest men. The discussants emphasized on reviewing the customary laws in written with respect to modern ages, proper marriage registration, prohibit multiple marriages in customary laws to prevent polygamy of ethnic males and special steps to end violence against ethnic women for stopping violence and discrimination against ethnic women from hill-tracts.