Raising the curtain with a dialogue from the women behind and on the stage of Nari Nokkhotro

Prepping the stage for the 3rd time, Bonhishikha is all set this year for their 3rd stage production. Transitioning from the women of It’s a She Thing to Nari Nokkhotro in their all female powered play, their upcoming performance tackles the various issues that women face on a daily basis.

Tasaffy Hossain

Tasaffy Hossain

Travelling is both freeing and comforting. I think every woman who travels internationally, will agree that you notice the change in yourself as soon as you reach the boarding lounge for the flight back to Bangladesh. The incident plays out as such, that a male foreigner who was travelling for the first time to Dhaka sitting behind me was making polite conversation about Dhaka and asking some questions about how and where to go for certain comforts of life – like good food. The deshi male co-passenger sitting just across the aisle also joins in on the conversation. All good, until we end the chat where he asks me a dozen questions about my marital status, what my supposed husband does for a living and whether I have children or not. He is disappointed and in utter shock when every question is met with a no. Life is all about making people face the hard truths: that grown adult women can be single, childless, and travelling on their own.

Tasaffy Hossain is the founder of Bonhishikha, a freelance development professional, who has found her calling in encouraging others to challenge the norms and push boundaries.

Poroma Kanya

Poroma Kanya

The issue that bothers me the most about being a woman in Dhaka is the perception of safety and the lack of it. Recently I moved with my husband to a new home. As I stayed back from work to get the place up and running, I had called the electrician, plumber and gas repairmen. My husband wasn’t home so each time I called one of them, my biggest worry was not that they won’t do a good job, it was that I was home alone. The fear was not of getting duped or robbed but of being raped or killed. I can guarantee you that my husband never has to feel this way under the same circumstances.

Poroma Kanya is the Communications Officer for the Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka.

Samina Yasmin

Samina Yasmin

In my family, discussion on puberty, menstruation, sexual and reproductive health has always been a hush-hush topic. Hence, growing up there had been multiple incidents where I was subjected to sexual abuse by men. Be it by my brother’s friends, the gardener in my school or random men on the streets aged between 17-60 years; I was not sure why they were doing this to me. The only thing that I felt was pain in my body. I was only 5!

I couldn’t talk about these incidents to my mother or anyone out of shame and anger. So, I found a way to defend myself. When I was 13, I scratched and tweaked a guy’s wrist hard as he touched me at the entrance gate of Ekushey Boi Mela. It’s been 20 years now since I learned to stop the hands before they touched me.

As parents and a mother to a son, we need to have open conversations with our children about their body and sexuality so they can understand the idea of concept and the difference between a good and bad touch.

Samina Yasmin is a communication advisor at Sudokkho

Munia Islam

Munia Islam

There are no cookstoves or gas connections in the all-male halls/dorms, whereas the girl’s hostels have a full-fledged kitchen within their living premises. We are the ones who design and give rise to very specific gender roles. Just the way a man can be passionate about cooking, similarly, a woman might not be interested in cooking. Then why does an important life-skill such as cooking become the jurisdiction of women only, even as early as her student-ship days?

Munia Islam works as a KUMON Instructor at BRAC