In Bangladeshi society where women struggles to find out a platform for themselves among the opposite sex, there are few women who really want to break the conventional practice and want to flourish their in their own field by defending the male dominance.
Aneela Haque is one of the pioneers of Bangladeshi fashion today with her fashion outlet AnDes. She is also one of the seven founding members of Bangladesh Fashion Alliance that organised the first Bangladesh Fashion Week in 2004. Her designs speak of the traditional Bangladeshi handicrafts and are influenced by different cultural motifs, for instance, fiery dragons from China, the hieroglyphics from Egypt, elements from Africa, Paris, India and also various elements from rural Bangladesh. “My clothes and garments are like a passport to the world” Aneela says. Among the well known designers, Aneela Haque has represented her own designs for the first time at the three-day Bridal Asia event held at the Taj hotel in New Delhi in October 2008. Read the rest of this entry »
Every morning on my way to my class, I see many women dressed in either salwar kameez or saree on their way to work, waiting for a CNG, CAB or sitting on the back seat of their car. They dressed quite elegant yet simple and professional, with their hair neatly groomed. Women, particularly in our society are expected to be house wives, taking care of the house hold chores and bringing up their children. But nowadays, quite a number of women taking care of their house hold duties are working. Few years back working for women only meant to teach at schools, but today the scenario is totally changed. Women today are working as bankers, telecom professionals, lecturers, etc.or are running their own ventures quite successfully. Many designers of different fashion houses are women and are promoting their designs by their own event management firms. Or they are opening up their own fashion institute or interior design schools where many students are enrolling.With so many private TV channels & radios opening up in our country, we women choosing their career in the mass media and communication. Lot of women are seen choosing journalism as their profession, not to mention they are already doing good as presenters and news caster. Also, after opening up of the radio channels we see many female singers are now releasing their albums under different record labels. Due, to all the opportunity around women seems to be one step ahead in choosing what they want to do professionally.
As women entrepreneurs, we see women are leading in the fashion world. Many of them owning their own fashion house, beauty salons, and also advertising firms. I was really surprised to learn few days back that the managing director of one the shipping company in Bangladesh is a woman. I am really proud and happy to let you all know that Mrs. Afruja Bari is the managing director of the one of the first shipping building companies in Bangladesh to get ship export orders from abroad. Experts believe that ship building industry will be the next top foreign currency earning sector in the near future. So, we see that women are not behind anymore though they are facing hardships and challenges everyday.
In a country where everyone has an opinion about everything, no matter whether they understand the subject matter or not, it’s not surprising that we have a very active political field. In Bangladeshi society it seems like that women are in a good position in the political arena. Our two leading prime minister and leader of the opposition in Parliament were women.However, their high positions in politics do not reflect the whole scenario of women’s position in politics. Both the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition were from political families which helped them to get into the leadership when there was a vacuum. The leading parties brought them in front and used the public sentiment to keep the party intact.
Since Bangladesh is an agriculture based country, with a Muslim majority, it is not always appreciated that women are considered as leaders. There is a common mentality of males dominating over the females. As a result of that, a lot of qualified women can’t make it in politics on their own. Of course there are very few exceptions to that. Gradually women’s participation in politics is increasing. Usually, they would be entering for promoting the issues which are unique to women only, i.e. women’s rights related issues. They have been pretty successful in furthering the cause of women starting with the women’s education back during the British Raj to current day worker’s rights. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo courtesy: Internet
Portrayal of Women in Film and Drama :
Film is the strongest mass medium which portrays the society. Drama is also plays a huge role in the societal context. But recently I found that our Bengali Film has lost it’s heritage and dignity that it had before. The entire film industry is being used as a mechanism of violence and sexual oppression on women in different ways. In majority films, women are presented as a sexual commodity.Moreover, the Bangladesh film industry has attained notoriety for being vulgar by focusing on women as sex objects. The portrayal of women in dramas and films is usually negative. There are rarely some films where the women are shown in a very decent manner. In the drama named “DOLLS HOUSE” women are shown as strong protagonists.
In the field of drama, women are shown as a devoted wife or mother, innocent or victims, vamps or sex workers, physically disabled or morally wrong person. They are hardly shown as professionals or achiever. The only constructive things they engage in doing are happily cooking meal after meal for their family, love men, cleaning the household things and a caring mother or sister etc. Read the rest of this entry »
Representation of women in Advertising:
Advertising is a huge field in Bangladesh. Women are presented in many different forms in advertisements.But they can be divided into certain categories.
One category of adds are such were women are just used to get attraction. They are used to get people to watch the add and also to buy the products. In these kind of adds, the role of women is of no use, it’s just there to get attention.
Another category is where women are presented in sari’s, taking care of children and homes and waiting upon their husbands when they come back home from office. This is considered the ideal role of women. These type of ads face a lot of criticism from the feminists but they still remain. Read the rest of this entry »
A Daily Star columnist, Mamun Rashid wrote a very interesting article on the “Shifting Roles of Women”. Women’s role in Bangladesh has changed over the years. Yet there are some things that hasn’t changed. And women’s role in their household is one such thing. Whether a woman is a housewife or is working, it is still expected that their first priority would be taking care of their home and children. As a result women who are working face a lot of dilemma and immense difficulty in maintaining balance between their home and work as the men still think that the household is still the women’s sole responsibility. A very few number of spouse contribute to the household chores of their wives. The column written by Mamun Rashid is an insightful article which very beautifully presents the present condition of the urban women today. I found this article very interesting as well as touchy. Hope you all enjoy reading it too… Here is the link-
The transport services currently provided by the public and private buses are insecure, unreliable, congested and unsafe. It is difficult for women to compete with men for the limited space on the buses particularly given the cultural background in Bangladesh.The working women need more buses during the office hours.
The main problems for women are absence of a well-scheduled bus system, poor accessibility due to overcrowding and inadequate sidewalk and pedestrian facilities etc.In the absence of adequate transport system, many women are forced to depend on more expensive, private and para modes of transport or spend more time walking to their destinations. Read the rest of this entry »