Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia
Bangladesh and the Politics of Rights
A talk by Sara Hossain
Sunday 2 PM, February 19, 2017
77 Mass Ave
Bangladesh made significant strides in a number of areas since its emergence as a country in 1971, but its achievements have been marred by political instability and the suppression of civil and human rights. Attacks on workers, critics, and political opponents by state forces have seen a steady rise through different administrations. The latter meanwhile has failed to protect bloggers, publishers, and minorities from attacks by religious extremists. Often the only recourse to persecuted individuals and groups has been the work of independent lawyers, activists, and groups.
Sara Hossain has consistently challenged discriminatory laws against women and secular activists, including “fatwa”s issued to mete out degrading and violent punishments to women and girls. She is a lawyer at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and an honorary executive director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST). Her awards include the 2016 International Women of Courage Award, the Ananya Top Ten Leading Women Award in 2005, and the Human Rights Lawyer Award by The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First).
Women’s and Gender Studies Program
South Asia Forum at MIT