Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers’ Association

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Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA) aims to create a platform to ensure equality for women and children.
Last updated: September 2016

bnwla 1 Image credit: BNWLA

The Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA) is a Dhaka based lawyer's organisation established in 1979. It aims to create a platform to ensure equality for women and children, as well as to encourage women lawyers to provide legal aid to marginalised women and children in Bangladesh.

As a human rights organisation, BNWLA specifically determines to ensure rights for women and children, and to act as a driving force for the state and international authorities to put women and children at the forefront of their work. BNWLA works towards these aims through an effective strategy and through integrating different partners and advisory roles in law making.


bnwla 2 Image credit: BNWLA

This organisation works on prevention, safety, rehabilitation and reintegration, as well as providing an advisory role in policy reform through study, discussion and assistance. It aims to defend women's rights and support professional development to help resist violence against women and children, as well as providing a platform for legal services to prevent gender discrimination.

The key activity of BNWLA is to increase capacity of selected tertiary educational institutions and student communities to prevent violence against women following a High Court Directive of 2009. Through this process, students, faculty and administration in each of four institutions have increased capacity in developing an overall strategy for engaging the educational community in taking action to address and prevent sexual harassment and other forms of gendered violence.

BNWLA also provides countrywide legal aid through 6 division based offices, 42 out-reach clinics and 30 root level partner institutes.

Recent activities

National Access to Justice Conference on Implementation of Public Interest Litigation: Challenges and Opportunities

This conference aimed to engage government actors, non-government organizations, researchers and the media in identifying strategies to progress the successful implementation of PIL orders and judgments. Over the past 25 years, the Supreme Court has issued a series of landmark judgments and directives, recognizing a range of rights and fashioning remedies to secure the lives, livelihoods, and safety and security of citizens and vulnerable communities and individuals, either on its own initiative or in response to legal aid organizations and individual lawyers who have invoked PIL. This conference provided an opportunity to review these experiences, and to go beyond the justice institutions, to engage government actors and citizens’ groups to seek solutions to PIL implementation challenges.   Sessions included:

  • Overview of the concept of PIL by prominent member of the judiciary
  • Presentations on practical challenges of using PIL directives to achieve change in respect of three major themes: environmental justice, human rights, and gender justice.
  • Discussion on need for coordinated action by the government, judiciary, civil society, the media and the public in contributing to successful implementation of PIL

National Legal Aid Day 2016 observed

Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA) observed the National Legal Aid Day 2016. BNWLA divisional, district and different project offices observed the day jointly with Government at Divisional, District and Upazilla (sub-district) and they took place with Legal Aid Stall in Legal Aid Fair. Government of Bangladesh declared April 28 as the National Legal Aid Day. The day aims building an effective and strong legal aid services to ensure free access to justice of the poorer section of the society. The theme of this year’s observance of the day was “Gorib Dukhir Bichar Pawar Odhikar Bortoman Sokarker Onggikar (Government is Committed to Provide Legal Support to the Poor)”. Colorful rally, discussion meeting and a daylong fair were organized marking the day in all Upazilas (sub-districts). In upazila’s rally and discussions were chaired by Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNO) and Upazila Legal Aid Officers. This precession was great success with different professionals as Government Official, NGO representative, Civil Society, Teacher, Student, Media People, Coalition Member and Masses.

Advocacy Workshop on ‘Improving justice delivery system’ Under MWLR Project

Through the continuation of the project named ‘Making women legal rights: A reality in Bangladesh’, an advocacy workshopwas organized on‘Improving justice-delivery system’on 12th December, 2015 at Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) with Bangladesh Women Judges Association who is the nation’s leading voice for women jurists dedicated to preserving judicial independence, ensuring equal justice and access to the courts for women, minorities and other historically disfavored groups, providing judicial education on cutting-edge issues, and increasing the numbers and advancement of women judges at all levels


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