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Bulletins Bulletin : Published and Discussed
Date: Friday, March 01, 2002
From: kumropotash
Re: Religion & Women Development (for Onti)

Onti, there is no need to apologize to participate in this discussion. That is the idea! We participate and talk from different angles and hopefully throughout the process gain valuable insights into the topic contributed by the discussion. I encourage you to make comments/counter arguments regarding my messages after carefully reading and understanding them.
I am afraid social customs and religious customs are not completely separate from each other – they are closely related and religion is one of the major sources of influence for social values and norms. I suggest you visit the website ( of The Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR), an international scholarly association that seeks to advance theory and research in the sociology of religion.
I am not sure exactly what you meant by “The Islam is not yet confined within the custom of Pordah.” If I am right, islam requires women to cover their heads in public. So if a muslim woman goes to the crop field and work with men there, islam would require her to cover her head even if it is summer and the sun is burning! This does not go with your statement “There is no religion that say keep your women inside the room without work.”

People Discussion
(Friday, March 01, 2002)

In Jordan, I have seen women working in crop fields wearing Hizab (borka).

(Friday, March 01, 2002)

Actually the issue is why women should be subjected to wear something that they would rather not wear to feel comfortable while working in the crop filed. If you are asked to do something under unnecessary uncomfortable conditions, naturally your motivation to do that work will lessen. That’s one way religion forces women to stay inside the house instead of working in the field!

(Saturday, March 02, 2002)

Dress is not a big factor in women's development, and pordha as well for that matter. In the early age of Islam, women participated in all sort of activities maintaining pardha.

In Bangladesh women go to the "centre" to collent creadit, or to a community hospitals for seeking health support. From my experience I know, sometimes, in a country like Bangladesh where men don't have enough education to control their anumal desires, the dress women wear ( borka or sharee in a riligious manner) protects them from many odds such as eve teasing and molustation. These sort of dress is also good to have a protection from bad climate especially polution. I personally don't believe, that Only half naked dresses are helpful for women to work at production system or pant and shirt or wearing sleeveless blouse is the indicator for empowered women.

(Saturday, March 02, 2002)

Do you think it’s possible and/or comfortable for a woman to figure skate/swim/jog with layers of clothing? So you are saying that it’s ok for women to wear layers of clothing to protect themselves from less educated men’s animal instincts. You know you might be the victim of “chintai” when you go out. So in order to protect yourself, why don’t you live the rest of your life inside a jail house! Good suggestion! Try it and see whether it works for you! Exactly how layers of clothing offer protection from pollution? If you are under the impression that the so-called gas masks that you see frequently in the streets of Dhaka can protect you from air pollution, you better consult a doctor! Opposing meaningless and restrictive dress code does not imply that I am asking woman to wear “half-naked dresses!” You don’t have to move from one extreme to another, there are middle grounds!

(Sunday, March 03, 2002)

Millions of woman wear hijab in us everyday,no one forcing them to do it.Right after sept,11 muslim in USA faced various kind of pressure and even I told some of them not to do it but they did it any way.So the notion that muslim woman use hijab because of presure is totally wrong.In singapur,they made laws telling school girls not to wear scarf but some of them did it anyway.The bottom line is people do it because they want it.I know some of you will bring mid-easts example to make your point.But remember mid-east represent a small portion of the muslim population in the world.Islam might start there but they are nothing special in the eyes of God.

(Sunday, March 03, 2002)

I have talked about group pressure in another response. You forgot to mention that those girls who refused to put off their scarf were suspended (this happened not only in Singapore but in other countries like the US and France) – how did it contribute to their learning?

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