Women, Food Security & Religion

Study after study has shown that while men tend to spend only about 30-40% of their income on their family, even while the overall income of the family is not enough to meet their needs, women spend over 90% of their income on the family. When women have control over their income, their families needs are met better, their children are better fed and more likely to be educated. Yet, studies have also shown that a large number of women and I am talking of a REALLY large percentage here, do not have control over their OWN income. This is specially true for women who are married but this phenomenon is not just true in the developing world, it happens even in the most developed countries.


In the country that I live in and in the work that I do, I see these women all the time. A significantly large portion of the population still lives below the poverty line. A significant portion of children are still malnourished. There are miles to go before we can rest easy and claim to be truly food secure. Yet yesterday’s shut-down and the 13 point demand of the religious extremists really drove home the point that religion is being used in this country to drag us back by thousands of years. If the demands of these men are to be met, then women will cover up and stay inside the four walls of their home. And I wonder do these men even realize what they are asking for? They are asking for generations of children to grow up, malnourished and uneducated?


Half the farm labors in this country are women. While the men are hunting for work in big cities, it is the women who are tending to the fields, raising cattle, feeding and keeping the families together. It is hard enough for these women to interact with the formal market, to impose a restriction like this… who is going to keep the agro-economy going? Where do these men think they are going to get the rice that they eat in every meal?


I haven’t even mentioned the ready-made garment industry yet. The big thing that brings in more money, the jewel in Bangladesh’s crown. Who works in these factories? Women. It is women and millions of them that keep these garment factories running. That provide the hard labor that goes into shipping containers of clothes to the west, earning the country foreign currency and bringing in more FDI than any other sectors yet. What will happen to these women? to the families who depend on them? To the factories? To the economy?


When the extremists make their demands and when I see hundreds and sometimes thousands more men sitting beside them in solidarity, I wonder… where they borne by men? Where do they get off in denying basic human rights to women? Were they brought up solely by women hating men? Are they really blind and dumb enough to think that they are going to drag half of a country’s population into hell and not go there themselves?


Yesterday, I was on the phone with one of my friends and her 63-year-old mother got on the phone to solemnly inform me that if these extremists ever take over the country, she’s going to run for the hills. She is a house-wife, she prays 5 times a day and ever since she came back from the Hajj, she has been covering up (just not in the black hijab thing). That conversation is when it struck me how desperate this situation is becoming. If this woman cannot feel safe in her own country, with people who are supposedly proposing to uphold religious laws that she already follows, what hope do the rest of us have? And I can’t stop thinking of the millions of women who march to the factories every morning with their tiffin carrier in hand, what will happen to them? to the families back home in the villages who depend on them?


And to be honest, I can’t wrap my head around the religion they are talking about. The Prophet (SAW) that I love, the Prophet (SAW) whose religion I follow, he himself was married to the most successful business woman of his time. Her business spread across several countries and he himself worked under her. He continued to show an equal amount of respect for all of his subsequent wives, whose opinions he cherished and whose counsel he sought. So where do these men get their interpretation of Islam? When the prophet himself showed respect to women and was the most vocal in ensuring them their rights, where do these men think they get the fatwas that take away women’s right, to work, to education, to an income of their own? Where?


No matter what goes on in the streets today or tomorrow or in the upcoming days, I cannot believe for a moment that in a country of 160 million people, these mere million or two of so-called religious people will ever reign. This half of the population and the families that depend on them is not going to take this lying down. People are already struggling with the high rates of inflations, increasing costs of living, energy costs are sky-rocketing, they simply cannot afford to have able hands sitting idle in the house or being forced to stay off the workforce. The mass population will simply starve, it’s as simple as that really, so they will fight this extremism for their own survival. In order to keep this economy running, to keep the GDP growing, the business community and the politicians can’t possibly sit idle on the side as well.


In a country that is bravely marching forward despite all of its draw back, these days will be but mere blips. I still trust in our people. I still trust in my country. And I still believe that no matter what, we the “Bengal Tigers” will see better days ahead.





Posted on April 7, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Good one, but I can actually tell you where these people get their fatwas, ideas of women’s right, and interpretation of Islam from; better yet, I can show you 🙂


    • lol.. Shup, I know where the misogynists get off on perpetuating the cycle of violence and subjugation of women, question is … what are we going to do about it? Read through the 2nd article and the last one, very poignant and they amply highlight how this cycle is kept well and alive through societies every where.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Traditional Witchcraft and Occultism

Articles and Books About Traditional Witchcraft and the Occult

Fortuitous Forty!!!

figuring out life after 40...

Inner Whispers

Messages from Within

Triangle Below Canal Street

Stories that serve the community

House of Uncommons

The uncommon perceptions, wisdom, and senses


Travel, Adventure, Roadtrips

Attila Ovari

Loving Life and Inspiring Others


global group of international organization for poverty & disable development program


finishing lives since the era of dinosaurs

Kezia Lubanszky

Writer, Editor, Bridget Jones Enthusiast

Tania Marie

Creating Life As A Work Of Art With A Magick Rabbit By My Side

How Far From Home

Freelance Photographers & Filmmakers Traveling Around The World

we hunted the mammoth

the new misogyny, tracked and mocked

The Paranormal Housewife

Your All American Housewife With A Spooky Twist

Kendall Kessler Art

Original Art by Award Winning Artist Kendall Kessler

Just A Primer

Musings and other thoughts on beauty.


food safety, food law, food frauds, food recalls, food

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

Reiki Mark Cross

Peace, happiness and relaxation

My Life

The Daily Adventures of a Single Mom

traces of orange


Agro and Farming

A Blog about Agriculture and Farming related NEWS, Reviews, Technologies, Products, Crops, Tips, Thoughts, Stories and lots . . .


Between An Island of Certainties and the Unknown Shore


Explore ideas worth spreading


This site is all about ideas

A Narcissist Writes Letters, To Himself

A Hopefully Formerly Depressed Human Vows To Practice Self-Approval

Casey Fiesler

#computing #ethics #law #feminism #geek


just another boy who wants to be a girl

The Accidental Mathematician

Because "exact science is not always exact science."


A place for lovers of Yin and Yang to unite

Critical Dispatches

Reports from my somewhat unusual life


hacking health, designing life

সাদাসিধে কথা আর্কাইভ

মুহম্মদ জাফর ইকবাল এর কলামগুলোর সংগ্রহ

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Single Mom Spot

Strength in the Singular

Where is Shyamni?

Being Sharon; finding Shyamni...

The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

Online Programs in the Humanities and the Social Sciences at UNCG

A Travel Blog

By Lena Desmond

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

Kindness Blog

Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations.

Great Books of the Western World

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Just Think About It

A place for thoughts and ideas

Beating Trauma

Transcending a Childhood of Sex Abuse and Trafficking

%d bloggers like this: