If you are a poor boy in countries like Bangladesh it is a sad challenge, but if you are a poor girl, it is a disaster and a dead end!
Let me explain. In developing countries, women ‘know’ their place in a male world. They either know it, or get beaten up, raped, or get disfigured by burning kerosene or acid. Any rebellion by a female is met with male violence. This violence can happen to girls from poor or rich families and especially if a girl refuses an arranged marriage.
“Knowing one’s place” starts very young for females. A girl watches as food is placed on a table or the floor. She soon learns that the grown-up males eat first, then her brothers and, if there is food left over, it will be shared between her mother and older female relatives and then it will be the turn of the young girls.
These are pictures and comments from the Huffington Post (USA).
Arranged marriages for girls can be difficult. Poor girls suffer the worse fate. Arranged marriages for the majority of them, means an end to education. They become baby producers and ‘servants’ particularly if they live with their husband and his mother and other family members. For educated girls, husbands often realize that their income and standard of living with be improved with a wife working before children. We must also remember that Bangladesh is vulnerable to national disasters. If look back a few years, hundreds of women have been burned in locked factories where they work for cheap wages. The products go to developed countries and the international companies enrich their stockholders.
In many developed countries, girls can marry at 16 years (with the permission of their parents). In the majority of cases, the male and female agree to wed.
In many developing countries, it is custom or religion that can be held responsible for brides under the age of 15 years. In Northern Nigeria, for example, the religion of Islam allows Nigerian girls to marry at puberty. This can result in a girl menstruating as early as 10 or 11 years of age.
Poor families often use their daughters as a way to earn extra money or to educate younger males. UNICEF, has reported that nearly one-third of Bangladeshi girls are married by 15 years. UNICEF claims that theis in the highest rate for that age group in the world.
Should You and I ‘interfer’ in Other Countries’ Policies?
Do we have a right to “interfer” in other countries’ religious beliefs or customs? I, personally, think we have a right to speak out and defend any violation of human rights. When apartheid raged in South Africa, companies, individuals and groups boycotted that country. South Africa was banned from competing in international sports and banned from FIFA and the Olympics.
The United Nations has a charter of Human Rights and Freedoms that most countries have signed. As a human race, we need to support this body of countries.
If We Don’t Advocate – the Wheel Of Justice – Grind Slowly!
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced last year that child marriage would end in the nation by 2041, but a recent Human Rights Watch report points out that the government of Bangladesh has taken few tangible measures to stop the practice.
Child brides are at serious risk of physical abuse and early pregnancy.
Have You Got 10 Minutes? Can You Spare Half an Hour?
If you want to befriend a child bride, here are some ways to do it.
- Type a short letter with no address for the moment.
Explain that you care about the fate of young Bangledeshi
girls. You might state that you are an admirer of Malala of neighboring Pakistan. It was Malala that made you aware of the need for young girls to get an education. State that
Malala has made parents aware that a girl’s education benefits her family and her future husband. You might add that a girl’s education also economically enriches her village, her state and the country of Bangladesh.
After these words, you might add that child brides do not economically help anyone. They might be a ‘quick fix’ to an individual family’s economic needs, but in the long run, an uneducated wife does not help the groom and his family.
Then, may you might add that health authorities realize the risk to a young child bride’s health especially in pregnancy.
These are just ideas.
- Now, with that letter written, you can “cut and paste” and send it to: Embassies and Government Officials in Bangladesh. Thank you, paula.
Bangladeshi Embassy in Australia
Bangladeshi High Commission in Canberra, Australia
57 Culgoa Circuit, O’Malley, ACT 2606, Australia
|PHONE(+61) 2 6290-0511 and (+61) 2 6290-0522 / 33|
FAX(+61) 2 6290-0544
09:00 – 17:00
Masud Uddin Chowdhury – High Commissioner
Bangladeshi Embassy in Netherlands
Bangladeshi Embassy in The Hague, the Netherlands
Wassenaarseweg 39, 2596 CG, The Hague, Netherlands
|PHONE(+31) 70 328 3722|
|FAX(+31) 70 328 3524|
|DETAILSMr Muhammad Ali Sorcar – Ambassador|
Bangladeshi Consulate in Norway
Bangladeshi Consulate General in Oslo, Norway
Meltzers gate 4, 0257 Oslo, Norway
|PHONE(+47) 22 55 65 09, (+47) 907 47 509|
|FAX(+47) 22 43 12 20|
|DETAILSMr Peter Daae – Consul General|
Bangladeshi Consulate in Germany
Bangladeshi Consulate in Potsdam, Germany
Eisenhartstrasse 2, Potsdam 14469, Germany
|PHONE(+49) 331 278 70|
|FAX(+49) 331 27 87 25|
|OFFICE HOURSMonday to Friday 09:00 – 12:00|
|DETAILSDr Karlheinz Knauthe – Consul|
Bangladeshi Embassy in Sweden
Bangladeshi Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden
Anderstorpsvägen 12, 1st floor, 171 54 Solna, Sweden
|PHONE(+46) 8 730 5850 – 52|
|FAX(+46) 8 730 5870|
|DETAILSMr A. F. M. Gousalazam Sarker – Ambassador|
Bangladeshi Consulate in Switzerland
Bangladeshi Consulate in Geneva, Switzerland
Rue de Lausanne 65, 1202 Genève, Switzerland
|PHONE(+41) 22 906 80 20|
|FAX(+41) 22 738 46 16|
Bangladeshi Embassy in United Kingdom
Bangladeshi High Commission in London, the United Kingdom
28 Queens Gate, London SW7 5JA, United Kingdom
|PHONE(+44) (20) 7584 0081|
|FAX(+44) (20) 7581 7477|
|DETAILSMohamed Mijarul Quayes, High Commissioner|
Bangladeshi Consulate in United States
Bangladeshi Consulate General in Los Angeles, the United States
4201 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 605, Los Angeles, California 90010, United States
|PHONE(+1) (323) 932-0100|
|FAX(+1) (323) 932-9703|
|DETAILSMr MMuhammad Enayet Hossain – Consul General|
Thanks, again and again.