Where’s the Space for Women?

A few days ago we read a journal titled “Narrating Location: Space, Age, and Gender among Bengali Elders in East London” by Katy Gardner. In this journal, the writer mentions about the changes in the life of the Bengali migrants in London. While studying that journal we learned about spaces and consequently, the matter of women’s availability on the roads of Chittagong came up. According to my friends, there are fewer women seen on the roads of Chittagong. From that moment I was thinking about the reason behind it.

In the context of Chittagong, most of the people here have got a conservative outlook. Moreover, the number of housewives is larger than the number of the working women. Housewives in Bangladesh remain busy with their household chores most of the time; therefore, they don’t get enough time or they don’t feel the necessity to go outside and hang out. Their world avails around their home and their family and I guess housewives in everywhere have the same condition. Even if they are not seen on the road more often, there are some places where you will find mostly women; for example, shopping complexes, super markets, kitchen markets, and beauty salons, where they are supposed to be. Still they are not seen on roads because they feel comfortable to take privet or public transports like, rickshaws, CNGs, or cars. That’s the same in case of girl students and working women. They tend to use transports to go somewhere, sometimes at a short distance as well. There is a strong reason for that as well. Women of different ages are not comfortable to walk on the streets because they are susceptible to be teased by boys. A statistic shows that during the period of January-July 2010, about 13,000 women fell victim to eve teasing around Bangladesh (“Eve Teasing in Bangladesh”). Having an unfavorable condition like this, no family wants to send their women out on the streets, no matter the family is conservative or liberal. Even if I belong to a liberal family, my mother also doesn’t want me to go outside after evening.

So, there are several reasons for which women are not seen on the roads. I don’t know the situation in other countries, but regarding the present condition in Bangladesh, it will take time to change the view and I hope that someday women will be able to have their space and move freely on the roads.

Work Cited

“Eve Teasing in Bangladesh.” Lawyers N Jurists Resource Directory. Web. 24 June 2011. <http://resources.lawyersnjurists.com/articles-and-assignment/articlesjournals/eve-teasing-in-bangladesh-3/&gt;.

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About fmoriam
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One Response to Where’s the Space for Women?

  1. tdenkar says:

    Dear Fmoriam,
    An excellent defense against the lack of space for women in Bangladesh. You have provided several possible answers to our thought about the space of women in Bangladesh.Yes, I truly agree with you. Women are mostly confined to their household chores and other individual works, so they dont have any reasons to be in the streets. Moreover, it is not secure for women to hang out into the streets. However, like you said, I can see majority of women in shopping malls and kitchen markets. Thank you for making us clear about the lack of space for women in Bangladesh. 🙂 I also hope that with change in time, people will let their women free and have their own space.

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