The cover photo asked a straightforward question: how friendly is journalism for women and this came right after Nadia Sharmin got assaulted just for being a women. If she were a man, she would not have to go through this disgrace. In a society like ours, women are still ignored and vulnerable. Needless to say, the existing norms are yet to welcome women taking up the role of a journalist. I am really surprised to discover from the last cover story that the presence of women journalists is as less as 6 percent in the media. Despite this unfriendliness, some women have valiantly taken up journalism as a profession. Journalism can be risky and tough but that does not mean women should refrain from this job. In fact, being a woman is often advantageous in cases like gender sensitive issues. It is however inspiring for us that some aspiring women have set examples as journalists and are paving the way for the next generation. What we need is a less hostile setting for women.
Kohinur Khyum Tithila
East West University, Dhaka
Home Minister’s ‘Shaking’ remark
Our home minister has recently remarked that the eight-storied Rana Plaza in Savar collapsed because anti-government people had pushed and shoved the collapsible gates of the building. It was deeply shocking to learn that the comment didn’t come from a sanatorium but from a minister having a doctorate degree and a portfolio in government jobs. The whole world observed our home minister’s reaction on the BBC and one can take it that it did not sound plausible to a reasonable person. Whatever we gather from the comment, we earnestly request the minister to prove his points.
Need Change of Perception
Last week’s cover story about women and journalism was a well-written and thoughtful piece. The article reveals the hurdles and challenges faced by women pursuing this profession. We need a change of perception before expecting a change of the status quo in journalism and other sectors. It was sad to learn that the male-dominated managements of most media organisations do not feel the need to impart gender-sensitive training in its employees. I hope their views change after reading the likes of this article.
Savar Garment Factory Tragedy
No word of condolence or act of sympathy can ever compensate for the losses of so many in the eight-storied building collapse in Savar. It is indeed a matter of great concern that such a grave incident has shaken people around the world. It has become clear that most RMG owners are after earning more profits even at the cost of the poor workers, who make the largest contribution to our economy by earning 80 percent of the country’s export income alone. There are so many things to fix – legal measures and rule of law, labour rights, life insurance policies, wages, safe working conditions etc – to stop events like the collapse of Rana Plaza and the Tazreen tragedy last year. As we have seen in the past, reckless RMG owners always get away with their misdeeds. They need to be branded as criminals and must be brought to justice so that we have an end to losing garment workers due to mere negligence and inhumane working condition.
Regarding the cover story on April 19, it was dismaying to observe that many think if an Islamic state is established, some Islamic fundamentalists will have everyone captive in their houses and oppress the minority. It is necessary to clarify such a misconception. The 1972 constitution upheld secularism but the following amendments blended in some ‘Islamic elements’, which were later discarded. It was done through democratic process and this didn’t turn the state into an Islamic state. For Islam, it doesn’t see the state and religion as two separate things. For being an Islamic state, all laws and regulations must abide by the Quranic laws and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]. An Islamic state ensures equal rights for non-Muslims and their rights to safety. The laws cannot be changed by the majority even if they are Muslims, unlike secularism. In an Islamic state, not even the majority has the right to persecute a non-Muslim or to force them to exodus. Islam is not a threat to the non-Muslims. Everyone living in an Islamic state is entitled to their rights of expressing views through activism and criticism of the government, including the head of the state. There are yet more misconceptions about Islam and an Islamic state that need to be clarified.
Anika Nawal Ahmed