First Advisor

Sandra Basgall


BRAC, a Bangladeshi multi-faceted private development organization, has implemented a unique project. BRAC's Human Rights and Legal Education (HRLE) Program trains village women to become paralegals--to facilitate trainings on law in the villages. The Program empowers women with legal skills and confidence so that they can struggle successfully against prevalent social ills such as dowry, unlawful divorce, child marriage, polygamy, etc.

Throughout much of the Islamic World, we increasingly witness heightened restrictions upon the most fundamental of women's rights. And in Bangladesh, there are populations who are distrustful of the HRLE Program.

The relationship between women, Islam, and human rights provides the crucial issues, and challenges, of BRAC's HRLE Program. Thus, the nature of religious opposition to HRLE, and BRAC's efforts to overcome that opposition, are the focus of this paper. This information is of use to any organization interested in implementing a program that empowers women in the Islamic World.


Women's Studies