Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 6, Issue 10, Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Inspirational movies for women

Today we celebrate women - their presence, their efforts, their works and their hardships. We celebrate their kindness, their warmth and their hearts. To add something extra to your plans for the day, we've assembled a list of movies that will not only inspire you to claim your place in the world as a woman but also make you feel proud to be one.

Provoked: A true story: Based on the true story of Ahluwalia Kiranjit, who killed her abusive husband, the film presents the female leading role and her battle against the legal system.

Story of Women. Isabelle Hupport plays a housewife turned abortionist in the 1940s in Nazi occupied France. She becomes one of the last women to be guillotined in France.

Erin Brockovich: The Julia Roberts starrer is about an American legal clerk and environmental activist who, despite the lack of a formal law school education, was instrumental in constructing a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric company (PG&E) of California in 1993.

Norma Rae: This is 1979 American film tells the story of a factory worker from a small town in North Carolina, who becomes involved in the labour union activities at the textile factory where she works.

Becoming Jane: Inspired by the early life of author Jane Austen and her posited relationship with Thomas Langlois Lefroy the story involves the hardship a woman has to face while tackling love and family at the same time.

A League of Their Own: 992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalised account of the real-life All-American girls professional baseball league and their journey to success and fame.

The Sound of Music: Maria's life suddenly changes when a widowed Austrian Navy captain, George von Trappe sends to the abbey for a governess for his seven children. Maria is worried about what awaits her at the von Trapp household, but is determined to succeed.

Mona Lisa Smile: The film tells the story of Katherine Ann Watson, a teacher who studied at UCLA graduate school and left her boyfriend behind in Los Angeles to teach "History of Art" at Wellesley College, a conservative women's private liberal arts college in Massachusetts, United States in 1953.

With these movies in hand, get inspired to use your power and capability as a woman to the fullest. Appreciate your being and love yourself for who you are…just like these women did.

Celebrate yourself today.

By Naziba Basher


T is for too

March is Women's History Month. It is also Women's Empowerment Month. Time to look at all the progress we have made. We can vote; we can vote for female leaders; we can push our female leaders for fairer legislation; we can take to the roads to oust incompetent female leaders who cannot make fairer legislation stand; we can campaign for better female leaders next time around. We rally and tally and sally forward.

But there are some days when I can't help but wonder if it's going to be effective to look at only the external factors. Like it or not, there are still so many verbal commands we are subjected to in our daily lives internal messages which keep us hunched in a subconscious corner, unwilling to call attention to ourselves as women warriors. According to Louise L. Hay, these ideas about ourselves create the resistance to change. To paraphrase her and add on…

We are:
Too old to still be unmarried.
Too young to understand the world of men.
Too fat in our skins.
Too thin with our smiles.
Too short to break the glass ceiling.
Too tall to be wearing high heels to a party.
Too lazy about pushing carts at the self-service supermarket.
Too aggressive for wanting a raise.
Too dumb about our black hair.
Too smart for our own good.
Too strong at the gym.
Too weak to pick up the phone and call the man we like.
Too poor in our opinions of those who dare.
Too rich about blood ties and lineage.
Too worthless when wombs will not obey.
Too valuable to openly show it all.
Too frivolous with words that maim.
Too serious about kitty parties and high-teas.
Too fluid, mindlessly swaying with the crowd.
Too stuck in our own heads.
It's all just too much!

Even on a physical level, our list of self-torture is astounding. We straighten curly hair and curl straight hair. We put herbs to thicken follicles and caramelised wax to remove them. Nails are coloured dark; skin is bleached white. Stomachs are plastic-wrapped; heads are aluminum foiled. Fat is removed from our thighs and injected into our lips. Oily blackheads pinched out; under-eye creams judiciously applied. The whole thing would be laughable if only the list wasn't so extensive and painful to ponder upon.

There is nothing wrong with 'tweaking' what Mother Nature has given us and improving on it. But there's a fine line to be drawn that Botox should never be able to diminish. The bottom line, sagging or otherwise, is no matter what we do to our bodies, we need to be comfortable in our own skins first. Pedicures make for healthy feet when done by people who know what they are doing, to people who know where they are going. But if you allow niggling doubts to stop you in your path and get your nails clipped by the nearest prevailing stereotype, you run the risk of getting a bacterial infection that can plague you for years.

So at least for this month, let's forget how we 'should' be and simply be. When we are okay being what we are, our minds give us the courage to contemplate matters of what we further could be. Cancel the beautician's appointment. Come meet me for our moment in the sun, wrinkles be damned!

By Munize Manzur


Women's rights and Islam

The subject of women's rights has pertained universally to all religions, cultures, nations and societies. Civilisations throughout time have had their own specific accord as to establishing women's place in society. And often these official and social laws have positioned women to a lower status than that of men.

Present global trends have directed scrutiny towards Islam, especially concerning the rights of women. Contrary to the belief that Islam subjugates women and infringes on their rights, women under Islamic law and guidance from the Holy Quran enjoyed what is presently the universal declaration of human rights. More than 1400 years ago women's rights to education, work, inheritance, independent property, suffrage, marriage and divorce were articulated, practised and established by Prophet Mohammad (SAW).

Islam considers the teachings of the Holy Quran as the constitution from Allah guiding Muslims to conduct themselves in individual and collective environments. As such social and political rights and education, property and ultimately basic human rights, are amongst the most valuable chapters in the book of civilisation.

"Be just among your children, daughters and sons, provide them good education and proper upbringing." narrated from the Prophet Mohammad's (SAW) hadith. These words became religious duty for every Muslim, male or female, to honour women, treat sons and daughters justly, and for men to be supportive of women and their achievements.

The history of Islam records that men and women would equally reach agreements with the Prophet Mohammad (SAW), voting and choosing him as a political leader. This practice demonstrates that women could engage in social, political, and military affairs.

Inheritance law is the most vital right accorded to women by Islam; a woman inherits half the share of her brother.

A man and a brother has the obligation, by the rules of Islam, to support his mother, wife, children, sisters, and the children of his sisters if necessary. If a woman, a mother, a sister did not have the wealth or the desire to support her children; it would become the duty of her brother to support them.

Under Islamic law, women have control over their own property and also dowry claims. Once she is married, she may demand her dowry from her husband at any time, and in the case of divorce, she would receive her share of the property.

The equality of men and women is recognised by Islam in marriage. The Holy Quran views the marriage of a man and woman as a sharing of the two halves of society. Women have the right to own her mahr. The mahr is a payment that the husband makes to the wife which is an important part of the marriage contract providing the woman with financial security in case of divorce.

The Holy Quran also provides women with explicit rights to inheritance, independent property, divorce and the right to testify in a court of law. It prohibits wanton violence towards women and girls and is against duress in marriage and community affairs.

In the current global context, specifically on human development agenda that is preeminently focused on rights of women, Islam shows a clear path that recognises women as individual entities having the same socio-economical and family rights as men.

A good example is Hazrat Khadija (RA), Prophet Mohammad's (SAW) first wife and mother to his children was a successful businesswoman at the time of her marriage. The Holy Quran and the Hadith of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) sets example of women who held prominent positions in society. Hazrat Marium (RA) on whom an entire chapter in the Holy Quran is dedicated was an example of a single parent to Hazrat Isa (SAW).

Bibi Asiya; Pharaoh's wife who revolted against her husband for justice, Hazrat Aiysha (RA) Prophet Mohammad's (SAW) young wife who epitomised intelligence in the matter of state and interpretation of the hadith of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) and Hazrat Fatimah (RA) who set example of commitment and dedication to family and also fought wars at the frontline alongside her father.

An entrepreneur, a single parent, a human rights activist, a researcher and a soldier -- are the historically famous women role models that Islam has eulogised acknowledging that women have a significant part to play in society for building values, morals and standards.

Today when we discuss on the subjects of education, health services, poverty, employment, climate change and environment degradation impact, we fail to put a woman's face to it because more often than not we are unable to define the calm yet determined strength of women to overcome the challenges towards social justice. Women's empowerment is embedded in the philosophy of Prophet Mohammad's (SAW) practices and the teachings of the Holy Quran that is the basic principle of universal declaration of human rights based on equity and equality.

The gamut of human and community development agendas need look no further than the rights and responsibilities of men and women defined by Islam as complimentary and supplementary for establishing a just society. This is timeless, universal and beyond any particular geo-political and physical territory. Therefore, women's rights and gender disparity issues are irrelevant within the actual Islamic standards and framework but rather pertain to the various interpretations of the Holy Quran and its teachings.

By Faatin Haque, Director and Researcher, Institute of Hazrat Mohammad (SAW).


Rang's Jalpan

Rang, has added a food corner named 'Jalpan' to its Baridhara-Basundhara outlet so that their customers can simultaneously shop and dine. Street food such as chotpoti ,muri, chanachur, phuchka, samosas, doi-chira , shingara, rolls and mishti from Narayanganj and Tangail are available at Jalpan, as well as a host of beverages such as different types of tea - lemon, Thai, ginger, masala, mali/cream, cardamom - a variety of coffees, cold drinks, mineral water. Other snacks such as raj kachuri, dahi-phuchka, aloo parata, dosa, different types of salad, garlic toast, sandwiches, French toast, fried chicken, cake, pudding and noodles are also available.

The showroom is located at Adapt Amir Complex, 3rd Floor.
Ph: 8413963, 8413785

LS Desk


Rhinoplasty--“The Nose job”

M.B.B.S, D.L.O ENT, Head-Neck
& Cosmetic Surgeon,
Phone: 01199845531

It's a very common thing to hear these days that someone had a 'nose job', meaning that they had their nose reshaped. The nose is an organ which is considered the most prominent part of the body. It is most noticeable as it is right in the centre of the face. The shape of the nose makes a great difference in appearance, so if we are not happy with it, there may be trouble. This consciousness is most prevalent among the younger generation.

The shape of the nose can be changed in any way that is required or needed; required as in some cases it is a necessity, like, in cases of accidents where the shape has been affected by fracture or displacements, or there may be a congenital defect like cleft lip where the nose may also be deformed. And of course, then, there are those who are unhappy with their shape and want it changed and so a nose job for them is needed.

In Bangladesh, rather in the Indian subcontinent, we have a tendency to like noses which are long and sharp tipped , "lomba & khara" as we say it. So people who have small noses or noses with a flat dorsum and tip, (bocha nak) can get it fixed by an Augmentation Rhinoplasty.

In this procedure we augment the dorsum by placing grafts which can be cartilage, bone or implants. The kind of graft used depends on the amount of work and choice of surgeon. All of the materials used are safe and nontoxic to the body.

When bone or cartilage is used, it is taken from the ears or elbow or ribs, so another procedure is needed for those areas. If artificial implants are used, they are available in medical stores as silicon blocks or custom made nasal implants.

Though these have to be imported, they are still readily available here. I find the use of implants very convenient as no other procedure is needed for graft harvesting and so the patient has one less scar and it is also very safe.

I use cartilage or bone when needed. The procedure is done from inside the nose so no scar is visible. Usually a splint is kept for 5 days and there may be some bruising which disappears in a few days. Results can be seen within a few days.

For those who have a broad base as well can get it reduced by a procedure known as alar base reduction. Also the size of the nostrils can be reduced by sil reduction.

Sometimes a long nose can also look bad if it's too long or crooked, then we need to do a reduction rhinoplasty, where the part which is most prominent can be reduced. It may be the bony part of the nose or a cartilaginous part, whichever it is, it can be reduced.

For those who just need a sharp tip, we only expose the tip and do a tip-plasty.

In most cases we see that a combination of procedures is required and is usually done under general anaesthesia. Small procedures can be done under local anaesthesia.

There is no requirement of staying in the hospital in either case. These are day cases where patients come in, do the procedure, and go home once they are fully conscious and fit to go. They will have a bandage for 5-6days to protect the nose.

In cases of accidental injury or fracture of nasal bone, or congenital defects, reconstructive rhinoplasty is done. Here we try to rectify the defect as best as possible and try to make the nose look nice. Many sittings may be required in some cases to improve the look step by step. Patients are usually counseled before the surgery, so they are mentally prepared for the procedures.

In all cases, when they come to see us, a detailed history is taken to determine the patients' need for the surgery. They are properly counseled as some people think that the shape of the nose can be changed so they will have a nose like any film actor they want, which is a total fantasy. Their expectations have to be realistic. We have seen that patients who are very eager for the procedure usually get a lot of confidence after going through the procedure.

Rhinoplasty is becoming very popular in Bangladesh and can give good results if done by an experienced surgeon.


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