Get rid of laws that discriminate against males

Publish: 9:14 PM, October 17, 2021 | Update: 9:14:PM, October 17, 2021

Laws that discriminate against some while favoring excessively others, indeed call for rectification, reforms. restructuring, additions or alteration or the gamut of these processes fully, partly or any justified form. This is indispensable for preventing sheer miscarriage of justice. The providing of equity and justice ideally ought to be the main goal of a legal system worth the name.

In Bangladesh, we see some laws that are to be considered as highly discriminatory or injurious to males. The imperative of reforming or removing such laws have been manifest or pending for a long time. There havebeen a spate of abuses on the rights and liberties of the male part of the population of the country recently.That is why it is so very important for the judiciary of the country and the lawmakers to give focused attention to this need with a sense of high priority.

We, in the media, are increasingly coming across cases where the female complainants are exploiting the advantages that prevailing laws bestow on them at the expense of their helpless male victims. For example, let us take the example of the misuse or abuse of the Women and Children Repression Act. Undoubtedly, the Act was inspired by noble thinking. But the idealism behind is getting misused or abused increasingly by greedy or opportunistic women in many cases against male targets.

In many cases the women lodge complaints in police stations that they have been regularly raped sexually by false promises of marriage which is a penalty under the Act. But normally and as per common sense, no one should have any difficulty understanding what is willful engaging in sexual intercourse and what not. In the cases of regular willful engaging in intercourse by women how to determine and by whom whether these women submitted to intercourse for the joys of it or other temptations or for achieving undisclosed objectives.

Normally, medical tests need to be carried out immediately after the event to detect that rape has actually occurred. The longer such tests are delayed, the more difficult it becomes to determine medically that rape has actually occurred. Thus, in many of these cases, medical tests are ignored and only the statements of the women are accepted in courts and police stations about the occurrence of rapes. Thus, it is sufficient in our setting to be able to establish that rape has actually occurred on the basis of so called circumstantial evidence and heresy. Needless to say both circumstantial evidence and what some persons may perceive or say, can be misleading and inaccurate doing great harm and injustice to the accused. Therefore, reforms in the law are urgently needed to guard against false and motivated accusations of rape.

The century old British laws that govern adultery cases in Bangladesh are also too discriminatory against men. The adultery laws here are interpreted to mean that only men commit punishable offences by engaging in adulterous acts. Thus, judges here can rebuke an adulterous woman by writing a few rebuking words against an adulterous woman in the judgement but cannot order her physical punishment like fines and jail terms. But the archaic laws can both order penal sentences on the adulterous man for committing adultery. Typically, a man facing an adultery case in Bangladesh can face jail and fine or both whereas the woman involved fear nothing about actual punishment . She is likely to go scot free with some moral admonition at most probably. Needless to say, nothing can be more unfair and discriminatory than this because adultery is committed by two adult persons of the opposite sexes and on grounds of fairness both would deserve equal punishment.

Besides, the greater part of the world has moved on and practically most of the advanced nations of the world no more cling to the notion that there should be anything like adultery. Thus, in the greater part of Europe and North America today sexual relationship between two willing persons of the opposite sex-despite both being married or one being married to other person/s – cannot be legally an offence under the notion of adultery.

Religious authorities in those countries or parts of the world may look upon such relationships with disfavor under grounds of breaching religious morality. But they have no power to stop the same or punish anybody for the same. Bangladesh should do well to be at par with the rest of the advanced world by at least initiating immediately the moves to sufficiently upgradeits laws dealing with so called notions of adultery or make the same fairer.