In our Southeast Asia, women are always exploited, either mentally or physically. They are tortured inside their home by their husbands and while they are outdoors, they are harassed by the eve-teasers. They are not safe anywhere they live. Even educated, upper class women are not out of the clutch of various types of harassments.
Girls are considered to be subservient to men. Most families, therefore, do not allow their female children to have education more than intermediary level. Of course, the scenario is much worse in rural areas where girls hardly get the chance to get admitted in the schools, and even if they do, they cannot dare to ask their parents to let them study after they have completed their primary schooling.
What do you think is the reason behind parents not letting their own girls receive education? Is this the monetary constraint? Yes, to some extent. But money is not the only reason parents are discouraged to send their girls to schools. Think of the parents who are affluent enough to accommodate the costs of education but still have plans to marry their girls off just after the completion of their college education. Are they unable to finance their children’s educational expenses? No. The only reason why most well-off families are not willing to send their daughter for a higher education is because of security.
Girls are vulnerable in this country. They are always in danger of being violated. Everyday they are being sexually harassed even when they are in the veranda of their very own homes. Nobody cares how many girls commit suicide everyday after being humiliated. Nobody cares about the number of women who are raped everyday. We just adjust to the situation; accept the wrong. We never want to change. In this conservative society, a girl hardly gets the opportunity to grow her potentials. Girls are to put a full stop in the middle of their study sometimes when their parents decide that it’s the ‘right time’ to call it off.
Extremism can be the key word why some girls, who are very few in number, are considered to go ‘haywire’ in the eyes of society like ours where attitudes of the girls are always expected to stay in shape with religious values. So, when some girls get detracted from their religious beliefs and try to explore the world outside their cocoon, they are simply ditched by their family. In the some cases, they spend many years of their life serving the ‘men’.
(The writer is a student of the Department of Marketing, University of Dhaka.)