Social Statues of Women in Bangladesh

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“In 2015, the Asia and Pacific region had 5.1 million people living with HIV. While HIV isn’t prevalent in Bangladesh, it still affects people and of the people affected, a large portion are women (Sheikh). In Bangladesh, women are more likely to be in a poorer health state because of social problems, economic inequality, and other political marginalization relative to men, such as domestic abuse, adverse work condition, and relative lack of knowledge about health. While there is progress being made in regards to women’s overall and sexual health in the country, the number of factors above seem to continue posing as roadblocks to progress in favor of Bangladeshi women.

Due to the social statues of women in Bangladesh, women are likely subjected to abuse, especially by partners. 53% of married Bangladeshi women reported physical/sexual abuse by their partner and 70.3% of women who experienced all types of abuse were emotionally distressed according to a study done (PLOS ONE). The traditional role expectation of women put them in a position of having no authority which leads to men abusing women. While emotional distress doesn’t sound detrimental, it can lead to suicides and also stress can lead to weight loss and limited caloric intake which is a reason for women being malnutrition (Scielo). Now most people would judge this however, gender inequality is something that till this day, still exists to some extent throughout the world. This problem is hard to tackle and would be a long time before we see significant progress but a good start would be to start treating men and women equally and also to remove the thought that women are weaker which is a hard thing to do.

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Poor health conditions resolving from poor working conditions in factories has been a problem in factories in places all over the world and but affects women more in Bangladesh however due to this, Bangladesh has been moving in a good direction. 68% of women that worked in garment factories suffered diseases like gastric ulcers and backaches due to long hours and malnutrition (Kabir, Maple, Fatema). Jobs were harder for women to get so they had to accept this conditions and because of that, their lower pay led to some resorting to sex work, whether voluntary or involuntary, to earn some more and often times without condoms which allows for the STD’s to spread. Even after the Rana Plaza Collapse, which was one of the worst factory disasters to happen where 1132 people were killed and over 2500 were injured, men were still able to get jobs however women couldn’t and had to resort to sex work in order to make a living according to a Bangladeshi women injured during this disaster. But due to this, Bangladeshi was able to make improvements in jobs for women and work conditions. “NARI aims to provide training, transitional housing, counselling and job placement services in garment factories to poor and vulnerable women who will be recruited from the remote areas” (World Bank). Women now have a easier time getting jobs which makes it less likely for them to choose a poor condition job. Also, along with this, there is now more inspections of factories and implemented National Occupational Safety Health Policy which allows workers to be more trained in health and safety. These were all improvements made in Bangladesh because of the collapse.

While a patriarchal society remains as a main reason for poor women’s health, there are other reasons too and one being a lack of education. In a study done, 93.1% of the participants knew that condoms can be used for birth control however only 24.8% knew how to correctly use a condom (Methe, Sultana, Muhammad). Along with this is that secondary higher educated women are 6.6 times more likely to know about HIV/AIDS (Sheikh). Knowledge plays a big role since if they don’t know about HIV, there isn’t really a reason for them to use protection besides for birth control. Having knowledge of HIV, when given the chance, women would most likely choose to use protection thus preventing or limiting the spread of STD’s like HIV. Lack of knowledge can be dangerous however, this is something that Bangladesh shows improvement in. “The percentage of women with knowledge about HIV/AIDS slightly increased for the women aged 25–49 years and decreased for the women aged 15–24 years, of which young married women (15–19 years) show a more steeper decline” (Sheikh). This study here suggests here that older women tend to know more about HIV and a reason for that may lie in the fact that women are likely to learn about HIV when they start to do family planning. With this in mind, there attempts being made, with regards of family planning education, along with education through media to inform women about HIV and correct and safe use of condoms. “Analysing the trend over the years,we found compared to the survey year 2007, significant improvement is observed in the level of knowledge among the women with media exposure in 2014 survey year”(Sheikh). It has been shown in studies that media allows for greater knowledge of HIV and most women who use condoms are those who are aware of HIV.

Through learning about the health of women and reasons for why women may have poor health in Bangladesh, it can make it easier for us to develop an idea of how to help women out. While abuse isn’t a local problem of Bangladesh, by starting off locally, we can slowly make it a global effort. Abuse, work conditions, and lack of knowledge on subjects related to sex are a few of the reasons why women have poor health in Bangladesh and while not everything maybe a direct effect, there is a large correlation between the reasons and poor health. With this correlation, Bangladesh has been able to slowly work towards a better state.”

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Social Statues of Women in Bangladesh. (2021, Jun 07). Retrieved from