In the story of divorced, single mothers and widowed women, the challenges after losing a partner or ending a marriage are immense. They struggle with grief, loneliness, and parenting alone. In traditional societies, these brave women find themselves ostracized, denied their rightful inheritance and barred from remarrying. Single mothers face economic struggle and limited job opportunities due to divorce or widowhood, especially in conservative places like Bangladesh, where they are unjustly stigmatized and discriminated against.
The lack of support makes their journey difficult. Access to legal and financial aid is another barrier, which is critical to the protection of their rights. Lack of resources makes them vulnerable and hinders progress. Custody of the children becomes complicated, with Meher’s money being used to manipulate them. Remarriage continues to be treated unequally, as unlike men, women risk losing custody rights if they remarry.
Section 128 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961 (MFLO) states that a mother is the natural guardian of her minor child up to the age of seven years and till the age of puberty in the case of a male child. In case of girl child. Section 127 of the same Act also states that, “Where a mother remarries, she shall, save as otherwise provided in this section, cease to be the guardian of her children, but the court may, if it is satisfied that it For the welfare of her children, order that she shall continue to be the guardian of such children.”
We also need to understand that, there is an issue which is related to remarriage of women; Mahram and non-mahram. According to the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961 (MFLO), a mahram is a person who is not seen as a person with whom the mother or the child can have sexual relations. Mahram includes close relatives such as father, grandfather, uncle, brother and some other family members such as mother’s husband and father’s wife. On the other hand, a non-mahram is a person who can potentially have sexual relations with the mother or the child. This includes any person who is not considered a mahram. If a mother marries a non-mahram, she automatically loses the right to care for her children. This is because courts are generally hesitant to allow children to live in a household where they cannot be considered mahrams to their stepfather. For example, the MFLO states that a mother who remarries a non-mahram will automatically lose the right to custody of her children. However, national laws state that the court must always consider the best interests of the child, and this may include awarding custody to the mother, even if she remarries a non-mahram. While these devices are merely a way of prolonging the order regarding the custody and release of a woman, in maximum cases, these cruel devices are used to deprive the women of their right to dowry money as well as the rights of women. It is also done for having inappropriate conversations.