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     Volume 4 Issue 54 | July 15, 2005 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Food For Thought
   Time Out
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
   New Flicks
   Write to Mita

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Keep Up the Good Work
I'm a regular reader of SWM. I never want to miss it. I like all the sections of the magazine, my favourites being "New Flicks", "Write to Mita", "Voice Box" including the political cartoons Sci-tech". I would like to thank all the people working for the magazine as I know it's not an easy task to reflect Bangladesh in 48 pages. Wish you good luck, SWM.
Atiq Dhaka College

In Response to WJ Abdun's Letter
Yes, I do agree with WJ Abdun that each and every individual has the right to examine and evaluate before choosing their life partner. But I must say that he only focused on one part of the whole story, completely ignorant of the humiliation felt by "yet another victim" of our current social context in which chauvinism quietly prevails. In our society, where most women remain dependent (both financially and socially) on male support, it's no wonder that rules and regulations are set by men and therefore they have the privilege to go "bride shopping". How long will we continue to accept that "this is the way things are"? How long will women be treated as suitable "home appliance products and baby production devices"? How long will we have to wait before being a part of a society free from discrimination and deprivation? The fact remains that, women have to respect themselves, and educate themselves to become independent (both mentally and financially) in order to break such socially imposed barriers.
Towfida Jahan Siddiqua University of Dhaka

On "The Price of Duty"
Srabonti Narmeen Ali's piece "The Price of Duty" in last week's SWM was, for lack of a better word, a jolting read. It was shocking to read about such incidents of sexual abuse within families. At the same time, it wasn't all that surprising because, let's face it, these things do happen. Maybe the shocking thing about it was reading about it, about other people's experiences similar to yet others we hear about or which we ourselves have experienced. The more you talk to women, the more you realise how the statistic that one out of every three women are sexually abused must actually be true. Not that these things can be compared, but there is additional trauma when the perpetrator is a family member who you may often have to face and make a show of liking and, worst of all, respecting. I think the important thing is to start talking about these things, as Ali so courageously has. Women must start by exposing the perpetrators to their families. These things must also be talked about in order to make the abusers feel bad and realise how their act has permanently affected the lives of their victims in such negative ways. We have to start a movement within ourselves and our families before we can get the attention of society and the legal system, but this must be done in order to stop such disgusting violations of rights and relationships.
KAT Gulshan 2

Gratitude to K.S. Islam
I am extremely grateful to Kajalie Shehreen Islam for addressing such an important but ignored issue in her cover story, titled, "Fighting a Disabled System", in which we learn that 10 percent of our total population is disabled, but neither their families nor the government take the initiative to help them live normal lives. Even more disturbing the fact is that disabled women have to face sexual abuse and other forms of harassment when they attempt to travel by means of public transportation. What is wrong with our mentality? Have we sunk so low that a disabled person cannot go to school, get a job or walk the streets? I firmly believe that society as a whole, as well as the government should lend a helping hand to better the lives of disabled people. I with Islam that awareness of the problem is key and that the issue needs social and logistical attention and support. We should also discard all myths and misconceptions about disabled people. I look forward to a Bangladesh in which the disabled are able to survive and work and continue their everyday lives on an equal footing with the able. Thank you, Kajalie Shehreen Islam, once again for bringing this to our attention.
Abdul Salam Dhaka University

The Ugly Face of Political Humiliation
Congratulations to Aasha Mehreen Amin for writing such a great article on July 8th, "The Ugly Face of Political Intimidation." The article was on the barbaric treatment that former president HM Ershad inflicted on his ex-wife Bidisha. Amin addressed two separate issues here, one being the obvious corruption and favouring within the government and two being the abhorrent treatment and victimisation of women by men. It is sad that people resort to these methods and means of public humiliation in order to resolve a personal problem or fight. It is even sadder that women are the victims of such issues. How can our government foster such a gross disregard for human rights? How can they be a part of such goings on? And how can a man, no matter what issues he has, call himself a man, when he treats his ex-wife so badly? Is the respect for decency so nonexistent? I thank Aasha Mehreen Amin for having the guts to call a spade a spade. I really hope that journalists in the future follow her example and stop sucking up to the authorities as most of them do these days.
TAS Banani

On the Cover Story
SWM's cover story of July 1 was impressive. Thank you very much for presenting us with such a gripping story about disabled people. I thought it was very nicely written. The problems which these people are facing are pointed out, but, unfortunately no steps have been taken to better their situations. We really need to think of solution for people with disabilities in order to make life easier for them, so that they can contribute to the society if we help them a little. I really hope to see more such cover stories such, which succeed in alerting us to the social problems that our society faces.

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 880-2-8125155 or emailed to: <starweekendmag@gmail.com>
It is recommended that those submitting work for the first time to the SWM take a look at the sample copy beforehand. Our website is: http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine

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