Well I’m back! Discharged from hospital and slowly recovering from the ravages of Typhoid fever, I figured it is about time I got something on the blog again! I’m still not up to doing a great deal (even cleaning my teeth requires me to go have a lie down again soon after) but I can manage to offer you a re-blog of a post I felt was worth sharing.
It’s another from Shail’s Nest and is not short. But it IS worth reading. Though writing about Mother-in-Laws (MILs) in India, what Shail writes equally applies to Bangladesh too.
Whilst the Government has made it legal that men and women are equal, that children cannot work but must be in school, that girls cannot be married under the age of 18 and that the dowry system for women is abolished, none of these things have yet taken root amongst the majority of the 160 million Bangladeshis in the country.
I was shocked a few years ago when I found out that the abuse of wives was not coming from their husbands – or at least, if it did, they were the tool and not the instigator. No, the source seems to be the parents-in-laws – most specifically, the mother-in-law.
But as Shail writes here, not all abuse is physical and so swiftly dealt out. Some goes on, insidiously, over years. It seems to be about breaking the spirit of the new woman in the household, about demeaning her and making her subservient.
Much of this Asian culture, where families live in much bigger communities than we’re used to in our individualistic West, is admirable and I hunger for it. I’m jealous that grandparents and uncles and sister-in-laws and so on all live and work together! It can be such a beautiful thing. But as with so many things, what can be beautiful can also be truly awful.
If you’ve not read about this kind of thing about, I urge you to click on the link and read what Shail has to say on the matter – and her hopes for the future of daughter-in-laws in India as a result.
For those of you interested in the broader issue of wives and in-laws – especially with respect to dowry payments – I’ve included some other articles that might be of interest to you below.
- Husband ‘set family on fire’ in pay row (smh.com.au)
- Report on Violence against women in Bangladesh
- Unicef report and women and girls in Bangladesh