Advanced

Rural Women in Bangladesh : The Legal Status of Women and the Relationship between NGOs and Religious Groups

Miaji, Abdel Baten LU (2010) In Lund Studies in History of Religions 26.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Bangladesh är ett av världens folkrikaste muslimska länder. Sedan självständigheten har invånarna – trots politisk oro, massiva naturkatastrofer och utbredd administrativ korruption – upplevt en positiv utveckling, särskilt vad gäller kvinnors utbildning, hälsovård och familjeplanering. Denna avhandling diskuterar kvinnors levnadsförhållanden på landsbygden med fokus på rättsliga positioner, sociala och kulturella normer, religiös praxis samt konflikten mellan icke-statliga organisationer, religiösa grupper och deras allianser.

Det bangladeshiska samhället präglas inte bara av islam utan också av starka patriarkala sociala normer och det hinduiska kulturella arvet, men många människor... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Bangladesh är ett av världens folkrikaste muslimska länder. Sedan självständigheten har invånarna – trots politisk oro, massiva naturkatastrofer och utbredd administrativ korruption – upplevt en positiv utveckling, särskilt vad gäller kvinnors utbildning, hälsovård och familjeplanering. Denna avhandling diskuterar kvinnors levnadsförhållanden på landsbygden med fokus på rättsliga positioner, sociala och kulturella normer, religiös praxis samt konflikten mellan icke-statliga organisationer, religiösa grupper och deras allianser.

Det bangladeshiska samhället präglas inte bara av islam utan också av starka patriarkala sociala normer och det hinduiska kulturella arvet, men många människor är fromma och religion spelar en viktig roll i det dagliga livet. Kvinnors livssituation påverkas därför dels av det rådande patriarkatet, religiös praxis samt traditionella sociala och kulturella normer; dels av åtgärder från regeringen och organisationer som sysslar med mikrokreditfinansiering. Kvinnors roll och status i samhället har förändrats drastiskt, från begränsad rörlighet inom hemmet till en ansenlig närvaro på arbetsmarknaden; som småföretagare, inom medier och den privata sektorn, samt i lokal och nationell politik. De har också fått en stärkt roll vad gäller beslutsfattande inom det egna hushållet.

Landet har en lång tradition av sufism där de olika ordnarna anses ha en öppnare syn på kvinnors roll i samhället och i religionsutövning. Sedan början av 1990-talet har dock Bangladesh blivit starkt påverkat av Deobandi-wahhabitisk islam och salafi-ideologi, främst genom uppkomsten av de många religiösa skolorna s.k. qaomi madrassah och den landsomfattande organisationen Jamaat-e-Islami. Bägge dessa verksamheter stöds ekonomiskt, teologiskt och moraliskt från länder i Mellanöstern. Salafi-ideologin förespråkar en ”återgång till ursprunget” d.v.s. budskapet i Koranen och haditherna. Denna utveckling har resulterat i landsomfattande våldsdåd, demonstrationer mot Grameen Bank och andra icke-statliga organisationer, angrepp på kvinnor och arrangörer som anlitar respektive arbetar inom dessa organisationer, samt förnekande av sekulära lagar. Samtidigt har många attacker mot offentliga lokaler och muslimska helgedomar utförts.

Denna studie ger således en analys av situationen för kvinnor på landsbygden i Bangladesh gällande religiös praxis, lagstiftning och hotet mot patriarkala sociala normer i en ny era av ekonomisk frihet genom mikrokreditprogram och regeringens politik. Dessutom analyseras den pågående konflikten och debatten mellan de icke-statliga organisationerna och olika religiösa grupperingar angående dessa frågor. (Less)
Abstract
Bangladesh is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. In spite of political turmoil, frequent natural disasters and widespread corruption it has, in less than four decades after its birth as an independent state, gained visible success in human development - especially the education of women and girls, family planning and health, and microcredit to the poor.

As a Muslim country it has strong patriarchal social norms and cultural legacies that are predominantly derived from Hinduism. In general, most of the population is religious and devoted to a life of piety. On the one hand, the lives of women are affected by the prevailing patriarchy, religious practices, social and cultural norms. On the other hand, women are also... (More)
Bangladesh is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. In spite of political turmoil, frequent natural disasters and widespread corruption it has, in less than four decades after its birth as an independent state, gained visible success in human development - especially the education of women and girls, family planning and health, and microcredit to the poor.

As a Muslim country it has strong patriarchal social norms and cultural legacies that are predominantly derived from Hinduism. In general, most of the population is religious and devoted to a life of piety. On the one hand, the lives of women are affected by the prevailing patriarchy, religious practices, social and cultural norms. On the other hand, women are also influenced by the conscious interventions of the government, NGOs and microcredit institutions. In recent decades, the status of women has changed drastically from limited movement inside the four walls of the home to a dominant presence in the labour-market, small businesses, careers in media and private sectors, participation in local as well as national politics, and a greater role in household decisionmaking.

The country has a long tradition of Sufi orders which hold reasonably sympathetic outlooks towards women. However, in recent years, Bangladesh has been deeply influenced by Deobandi-cum-Wahhabi Islam with Salafi ideology. This ideology has been propagated through countrywide qaomi madrassahs and Jamaat-e-Islami’s devotional activities that are combined with economic, theological, and moral support from Middle Eastern societies. Since the beginning of 1990s, religious militancy, in the name of the Puriterian movement with the slogan “return to the origin”, has increased drastically. This has resulted in countrywide terrorist activities, demonstrations against development programmes by the Grameen Bank and other NGOs, misogynous activities including attacks on women and organizers involved with NGOs, and the denial of secular laws resulting in numerous attacks on public premises and holy shrines of Muslim saints.

This study thus provides an analytical discussion on the status of rural women in Bangladesh focusing on the legal status, religious practices, and patriarchal social norms in a new era of economic freedom created by microcredit programmes and government policies. It also analyses the conflict and debate about women and development activities between NGOs and the Islamist groups. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • fil dr Erwér, Monica, Göteborgs universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
NGOs, Islamology, Women in Bangladesh, nongovernment institutions, Gender, Rural Bangladesh, Qur'an, Legal status of women, Islamists, Bangladeshi girls, Bangladesh, Village women, Islam, Women, Hadith, History of Religion
in
Lund Studies in History of Religions
volume
26
pages
230 pages
publisher
History of Religions, Lund University
defense location
Sal 215, Centrum för teologi och religionsvetenskap, Allhelgona kyrkogata 8, Lund
defense date
2010-05-21 13:15
ISSN
1103-4882
ISBN
978-91-628-8052-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0f588f9f-b01f-44d2-87b3-bd3d7e2019e2 (old id 1579637)
date added to LUP
2010-04-22 15:37:35
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:33:35
@phdthesis{0f588f9f-b01f-44d2-87b3-bd3d7e2019e2,
  abstract     = {Bangladesh is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. In spite of political turmoil, frequent natural disasters and widespread corruption it has, in less than four decades after its birth as an independent state, gained visible success in human development - especially the education of women and girls, family planning and health, and microcredit to the poor. <br/><br>
As a Muslim country it has strong patriarchal social norms and cultural legacies that are predominantly derived from Hinduism. In general, most of the population is religious and devoted to a life of piety. On the one hand, the lives of women are affected by the prevailing patriarchy, religious practices, social and cultural norms. On the other hand, women are also influenced by the conscious interventions of the government, NGOs and microcredit institutions. In recent decades, the status of women has changed drastically from limited movement inside the four walls of the home to a dominant presence in the labour-market, small businesses, careers in media and private sectors, participation in local as well as national politics, and a greater role in household decisionmaking. <br/><br>
The country has a long tradition of Sufi orders which hold reasonably sympathetic outlooks towards women. However, in recent years, Bangladesh has been deeply influenced by Deobandi-cum-Wahhabi Islam with Salafi ideology. This ideology has been propagated through countrywide qaomi madrassahs and Jamaat-e-Islami’s devotional activities that are combined with economic, theological, and moral support from Middle Eastern societies. Since the beginning of 1990s, religious militancy, in the name of the Puriterian movement with the slogan “return to the origin”, has increased drastically. This has resulted in countrywide terrorist activities, demonstrations against development programmes by the Grameen Bank and other NGOs, misogynous activities including attacks on women and organizers involved with NGOs, and the denial of secular laws resulting in numerous attacks on public premises and holy shrines of Muslim saints. <br/><br>
This study thus provides an analytical discussion on the status of rural women in Bangladesh focusing on the legal status, religious practices, and patriarchal social norms in a new era of economic freedom created by microcredit programmes and government policies. It also analyses the conflict and debate about women and development activities between NGOs and the Islamist groups.},
  author       = {Miaji, Abdel Baten},
  isbn         = {978-91-628-8052-1},
  issn         = {1103-4882},
  keyword      = {NGOs,Islamology,Women in Bangladesh,nongovernment institutions,Gender,Rural Bangladesh,Qur'an,Legal status of women,Islamists,Bangladeshi girls,Bangladesh,Village women,Islam,Women,Hadith,History of Religion},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {230},
  publisher    = {History of Religions, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Studies in History of Religions},
  title        = {Rural Women in Bangladesh : The Legal Status of Women and the Relationship between NGOs and Religious Groups},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2010},
}