Women and gender issues

Md Rezaul Karim By Md Rezaul Karim, 20th Nov 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/14iu2wwc/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Women’s empowerment and social taboo in Bangladesh, how to address the issue properly?

Taboo and culture

Child marriage by definition is, anybody who is under the age of 18, and married is called or termed as Child marriage, which is not accepted in the eye of Bangladesh law. In Bangladesh, it is seldom found that a man is married below the termed age. Women in any society including Bangladesh are relatively vulnerable compared with men. To correlate, for the development of a country, it is important to work for improving health, education and working condition of women, without that human development remains incomplete. So, for the overall development of human beings women must be empowered of which child-marriage is a constraint, and is a matter of global discussion.

So, the most of the underaged people are women. There are many reasons why it is so, e.g.,
-Culturally man-woman relationship in the society is not taken as for granted or easy, it is a matter of taboo. No parents mostly women’s parents are worried about their female children when they reach the education level of ten years grade, or at the age of puberty.

-No human being could deny the biological attraction between man and woman folks, hence, still there are many illicit love affairs are happening, which is generally deplored by the society and not acceptable as a social norm.

-Extra marital relationship is prohibited as far religion and ethics and morality matter due to cultural heritage and honor. This is more of sins.

-Man like to get married younger to his age girls, as far the romanticism matter. If the girls gone above the age of thirty it would be a difficult and extreme situation to have a good groom, as most of the man married at the age between twenty five to thirty five, meaning their wives selection or in case of settled marriage got to be below twenty five years or twenty years of ages. This is the case for highly educated upper class society.

For the middle and lower class scenario- the situations are more complex. The reason for getting married for a man also varies depending on the social context and family background. In some cases people do marry for dowry, some marry for want of homemaking people as groom’s parents grown older, some marry for future generation, some other for sexual reasons, some married for romantic bondage and otherwise she would be married to somewhere else, etc.

-In the context of bride’s home, parents normally feel free or free from tensions while their girls’ got married, some consider it as a burden - economic and social point of view.

-Most men like to get married who are at the age below twenty, or younger, normally bride’s at the tenth or twelfth grades most likely to get married. More than that age normally considered as late.

So, there are many practical reasons why people get married early in Bangladesh and India.

Many Government policies are taken under pressures from World bodies, like UN and other social institutions, who advocate women’s rights. The NGOs and other semi-autonomous organizations actually vocal against the early marriages in the country; not withstanding the fact of social context. People who are shouting against actually derived from upper classes, having very low profile understanding or not at all.

Women’s advancement now have been slightly changing the social structural scenario, as more are interested to education, or compelled under socio-economic circumstances. So, when the rate of education and higher education is increased for women the early marriages decline. While most of those women are interested to pursue higher education is again the matter of research. Normally, women who happened to be left out being married at an early age have nothing to do but to follow or continue education. Parents allow them to continue studies, as evils mind is devils workshop and future economic prospects if at all marriage is get late. Some other economic difficult families encourage for the sheer economic future interest that derived out of it, considering it as an investment.

Bangladesh is still considered a least developed country. Although there is law prohibiting child-marriage, is not respected fully and child marriages take place. The statistics we see in the various reports on Child marriage in Bangladesh is subject to verification, as most of the marriages are not registered in Bangladesh, and in the case of child marriages ages are inflated most of the time, in order to avoid judicial problems.

All recognize child marriage does not help women grow and develop into mature persons and enjoy the fruits of empowerment. The customs and culture of the country does not permit women to lead the life on their own. Total economic upliftment or development is required to change the women’s life. For that industrial development and export is important. The export boost would automatically demand human resources, for which women would be automatically pulled in the line of duty. Other than that educating women would simply squeeze the small job market for men. We should remember getting job for a man is much more important than a woman, in the socio-economic context of Bangladesh, as our society is male dominated and family is run by man. If, on the other hand, women get jobs it would give an additional income to the family where both husband and wife are earning. This would not be equitable and more socio-economic unrest will derive.

So, the advocates of foreign countries or UN should emphasis on more imports from Bangladesh, in order to have a drastic positive change in the livelihood of women in Bangladesh. Currently, no one is focusing the matter in that direction, only nurturing the problems and following quick fix remedies, where running organizations for women’s upliftment have become a matter of running a business one or another kind, which serve the purpose of the organizers not the women folks who are intended to.

Tags

Bangladesh, Culture, Development, Education, Gender, People, Society, Taboo, Women

Meet the author

author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
I am a teacher engaged with the Southern University Bangladesh. I Like to use my spare time by writing and reading. I take it as a fun and source of inspiration in pursuing knowledge.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th Nov 2012 (#)

A hard nut to crack in traditional societies. But it is only a matter of time for women to assert and have equal rights as men in employment opportunities. Then new issues will develop! Give and take on a daily basis is the only way for peace within family, society, country and for the world. Thanks, Karim for the share - siva

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
21st Nov 2012 (#)

Welcome and interesting point is where men's life also not secure and safe yet....!! wonder what next waiting...
Thank you Siva ji.

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author avatar vpaulose
20th Nov 2012 (#)

Useful post

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
21st Nov 2012 (#)

Thank you vpaulose for stopping by...

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author avatar akram saqib
20th Nov 2012 (#)

well said Mr.Reza NGOs and higher strata does not apprehend the reality on the ground

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
21st Nov 2012 (#)

Thank you akram saqib...

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author avatar Judy Ellen
21st Nov 2012 (#)

Thank you for sharing this information with us!! It is very interesting and enlightening!

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author avatar Judy Ellen
21st Nov 2012 (#)

I still think that the most satisfying career for a woman is that of a wife, mother and home maker! Sometimes women going out into the work force can cause problems such as inflation like it did in the US. Also, the Real Estate market in the US has inflated drastically due to higher income households! This is a very controversial subject in the US but I don't mind being controversial when the truth can make a difference!! I was around when it all got started and know both sides of the issues! I was blessed with a mom who enjoyed being a home maker!! We had it all back then but just did not realize it!!!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
21st Nov 2012 (#)

For myself, I live it up to my wife.. if she feels going out its fine with me, otherwise do the mundane... I believe education and freedom of choice for us all.. Thank you Judy..

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author avatar M G Singh
21st Nov 2012 (#)

Very well written and timely post. Bangladesh has a woman PM, but still a long way to go.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
21st Nov 2012 (#)

I myself focused more on corruption and human rights, and justice system,, women issue would be corrected after all these... Thank you brother for your time..

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author avatar Retired
10th Mar 2015 (#)

The issues you addressed are exactly the ones that are being discussed at the International Women's Day conferences. Once women have equal rights, the country will prosper. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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author avatar M G Singh
21st Nov 2012 (#)

Very well written and timely post. Bangladesh has a woman PM, but still a long way to go.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
6th Apr 2015 (#)

But she betrayed the principles of democracy and becomes an authoritarian PM.

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