I’ve been thinking about the ways in which Bangladesh has been working toward women’s rights. It’s a slow process but one Bangladeshi women, educated men, and strong willed individuals have been chipping away at slowly. My emotional reaction to seeing the women on the boat being beaten temporarily tainted my views of the attempts being made in Bangladesh. I’m not saying Bangladesh is a good place for women to live. I’m saying that there are people making an effort so it might be.
On April 3rd of this year there was a protest for women’s rights in Jessore, Bangladesh that left one student protester dead. The protest was in support of a new law to insure that women inherit the same amount. While the death is tragic… it also raised awareness of the issue and attracted international media. On the same day, hundreds of women protested in the street to shame those opposing the policy. So, women in Bangladesh are organizing and there are a number of different organizations in Bangladesh working very hard to see to it that their rights are met.
But…even if new laws are developed, there is a huge gap between legal principles and social, political, and economic practices. Family life for women in Bangladesh doesn’t allow for women to be aware of their rights, and even if they were, there is little to be done. The traditional belief in Bangladesh is that women are to be kept under the control of somebody like their fathers or husbands. If they break the norm, educate themselves, or “act out”, they will be punished. They have very little to no protection against the punishment.
If women’s rights in Bangladesh is to be achieved it has to consist of two parts. The first part being changing the ways women are treated in their families, and secondly, changing the ways women are treated on a state level. If there is no link binding principles and practices then there will be no change.
Some organizations trying to make the bind! Include:
The Bangladesh Women’s Foundation: http://bdwf.org/
and many more if you do a simple google search!
Thanks for reading!
Posted By Adam Kruse
Posted Aug 16th, 2012