Everyday Occupations: Experiencing Militarism in South Asia and the Middle East


Visweswaran, Kamala, ed. 2013. Everyday Occupations: Experiencing Militarism in South Asia and the Middle East. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 

Author: Kamala Visweswaran


In the twenty-first century, political conflict and militarization have come to constitute a global social condition rather than a political exception. Military occupation increasingly informs the politics of both democracies and dictatorships, capitalist and formerly socialist regimes, raising questions about its relationship to sovereignty and the nation-state form. Israel and India are two of the world's most powerful postwar democracies yet have long-standing military occupations. Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Turkey have passed through periods of military dictatorship, but democracy has yielded little for their ethnic minorities who have been incorporated into the electoral process. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (like India, Pakistan, and Turkey) have felt the imprint of socialism; declarations of peace after long periods of conflict in these countries have not improved the conditions of their minority or indigenous peoples but rather have resulted in "violent peace" and remilitarization. Indeed, the existence of standing troops and ongoing state violence against peoples struggling for self-determination in these regions suggests the expanding and everyday nature of military occupation. Such everydayness raises larger issues about the dominant place of the military in society and the social values surrounding militarism.

Everyday Occupations examines militarization from the standpoints of both occupier and occupied. With attention to gender, poetics, satire, and popular culture, contributors who have lived and worked in occupied areas in the Middle East and South Asia explore what kinds of society are foreclosed or made possible by militarism. The outcome is a powerful contribution to the ethnography of political violence. (Summary from University of Pennsylvania Press)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Secessionist Wars, Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Bangladesh, India, Israel, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey

Year: 2013

Do Bangladeshi Factory Workers Need Saving? Sisterhood in the Post-Sweatshop Era


Siddiqi, Dina M. 2009. “Do Bangladeshi Factory Workers Need Saving? Sisterhood in the Post-Sweatshop Era.” Feminist Review 91 (1): 154–74. doi:10.1057/fr.2008.55.

Author: Dina M. Siddiqi


This article revisits the figure of the ‘third world sweatshop worker’, long iconic of the excesses of the global expansion of flexible accumulation in late twentieth-century capitalism. I am interested in how feminist activists concerned with the uneven impact of neo-liberal policies can engage in progressive political interventions without participating in the ‘culture of global moralism’ that continues to surround conventional representations of third world workers. I situate my analysis in the national space of Bangladesh, where the economy is heavily dependent on the labour of women factory workers in the garment industry and where local feminist understandings of the ‘sweatshop economy’ have not always converged with global feminist/left concerns about the exploitation inherent in the (now not so new) New International Division of Labor. The tensions or disjunctures between ‘global’ and ‘local’ feminist viewpoints animate the concerns of this article. I argue that de-contextualized critiques derived from abstract notions of individual rights, and corresponding calls for change from above – calls on the conscience of the feminist and the consumer, for instance – can entail troubling analytical simplifications. They highlight some relations of power while erasing others, thereby enacting a different kind of violence and at times undermining mobilizations on the ground. I draw attention to the multiple fields of power through which much of the activism across borders continues to be produced and reproduced discursively. This kind of framing fits all too easily into existing cultural scripts about gender and race elsewhere, and produces ethical obligations to ‘save’ women workers.

Keywords: Bangladesh, garment industry, globalization, sweat shops, transnational feminism

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Globalization, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Race, Rights, Human Rights, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2009

Women in Environmental Disasters: The 1991 Cyclone in Bangladesh


Begum, Rasheda. 1993. “Women in Environmental Disasters: The 1991 Cyclone in Bangladesh.” Focus on Gender 1 (1): 34–39.

Author: Rasheda Begum

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 1993

The Changing Role of Women in Resilience, Recovery and Economic Development at the Intersection of Recurrent Disaster: A Case Study from Sirajgang, Bangladesh


Islam, Mir Rabiul, Valerie Ingham, John Hicks, and Ian Manock. “The Changing Role of Women in Resilience, Recovery and Economic Development at the Intersection of Recurrent Disaster: A Case Study from Sirajgang, Bangladesh.” Journal of Asian and African Studies, December 11, 2014, 0021909614560244. doi:10.1177/0021909614560244.

Authors: Mir Rabiul Islam, Valerie Ingham, John Hicks, Ian Manock


Two million people were affected in the floodplains and low-lying areas in Sirajgang in 2012. Seven hundred and fifty families were made homeless and forced to live in small temporary huts on the river protection embankments. Unemployment rose alarmingly and the jobless left their villages to find work in larger cities, leaving behind their vulnerable and insecure families. Consequently, women were increasingly required to take on totally unfamiliar roles. Our research utilised in-depth interviews with women managing without the support of their husbands. Key findings highlighted that community resilience would improve if these women were engaged at the local operational level of disaster management.

Keywords: resilience, vulnerability, disaster, recovery, Bangladesh

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Governance, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2014

Women, Gender Norms, and Natural Disasters in Bangladesh


Juran, Luke, and Jennifer Trivedi. 2015. “Women, Gender Norms, and Natural Disasters in Bangladesh.” Geographical Review 105 (4): 601–11.

Authors: Luke Juran, Jennifer Trivedi


Women and men are impacted differently by natural disasters, leading to claims that there exist gendered disaster vulnerabilities and a “gendered terrain of disasters” (Enarson and Morrow 1998). What makes this contention even more academically and practically relevant are recent increases in the number of natural disasters and affectees (Guha-Sapir and others 2004; Paul 2011). The confluence of gender and disaster is particularly clear in Bangladesh, a country challenging twin specters of gender issues and an array of regularly occurring natural disasters. Bangladesh’s unique geographic situation of extreme population densities overlaid on a low-lying deltaic and coastal landscape interacts with the nation’s range of social and environmental transitions: issues of democracy, government corruption, poverty, rural-urban divides, and gender parity, coupled with problems related to multihazard risk, looming effects of climate change, and issues of environmental justice that predispose certain demographics to heightened levels of risk. Thus, the topic of gender and natural disasters presents a valuable junction for practical and academic exploration,representing a space where these transitions jointly manifest, coexist, and both create and reveal vulnerability.

Topics: Corruption, Democracy / Democratization, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2015

Bengal Border Revisited


Banerjee, Paula. 2012. “Bengal Border Revisited.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 27 (1): 31–44. doi:10.1080/08865655.2012.687208.

Author: Paula Banerjee


This article deals with the notion of how borders have a penchant for becoming a marker of security. The moment borders become securitized the question of flows across them acquires particular importance. In the colonial period this was marked by concern over dacoits, thugees and hooligans who crossed the district border at will. In the post-colonial period concern remains over undocumented migrants and whether their arrival threatens the nation form. Against this background the article addresses the notion of flows and increasing violence at the borders, fencing as the most recent marker of such violence and how women and the evolution of their relationship to the border is shaped through the discourses of violence.

Topics: Citizenship, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gender Analysis, Nationalism, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India

Year: 2012

Women in South Asian Politics


Jahan, Rounaq. 1987. “Women in South Asian Politics.” Third World Quarterly 9 (3): 848–70.


Author: Rounaq Jahan


This article traces the role of women in the corrupt political sphere of South Asia. While women's participation in politics may be analysed in many ways, this article will concentrate on three major issues: women in leadership, women in mainstream politics, and the new women's movement as an alternative to the mainstream. Data and examples are drawn primarily from the four South Asian countries where women have achieved leadership positions in the last few decades: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Topics: Civil Society, Corruption, Gender, Women, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Year: 1987

Violence against Women: Nature, Causes and Dimensions in Contemporary Bangladesh


Hossain, Kazi Tobarak and Md. Saidur Rashid Sumon. 2013. "Violence Against Women: Nature, Causes and Dimensions in Contemporary Bangladesh." Bangladesh e-Journal of Sociology 10 (1): 79-91.

Authors: Kazi Tobarak Hossain, Md. Saidur Rashid Sumon


This article is an attempt to discuss some of the major dimensions of violence against women in Bangladesh. Different types of violence against women take place quite frequently in Bangladesh such as domestic violence, acid violence, rape, gang rape, murder, forced prostitution, “Eve-teasing”. The present paper, using data from various secondary sources, examines the nature, causes, magnitude and trend of violence against women in Bangladesh.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2013

Rethinking Community and Participation in Water Governance


Sultana, Farhana. 2015. “Rethinking Community and Participation in Water Governance.” In The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Development, edited by Anne Coles, Leslie Gray, and Janet Momsen, 261–71. London: Routledge.

Author: Farhana Sultana

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Environment, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2015

Women, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Deforestation: a Cross-National Study


Shandra, John M., Carrie L. Shandra, and Bruce London. 2008. “Women, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Deforestation: A Cross-National Study.” Population and Environment 30 (1-2): 48–72.

Authors: John M. Shandra, Carrie L. Shandra, Bruce London


There have been several cross-national studies published in the world polity theoretical tradition that find a strong correlation between nations with high levels of environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and low levels of various forms of environmental degradation. However, these studies neglect the role that women’s NGOs potentially play in this process. We seek to address this gap by conducting a cross-national study of the association between women’s NGOs and deforestation. We examine this relationship because deforestation often translates into increased household labor, loss of income, and impaired health for women and, as a result, women’s non-governmental organizations have become increasingly involved in dealing with these problems often by protecting forests. We use data from a sample of 61 nations for the period of 1990–2005. We find substantial support for world polity theory that both high levels of women’s and environmental NGOs per capita are associated with lower rates of deforestation. We also find that high levels of debt service and structural adjustment are correlated with higher rates of forest loss. We conclude with a discussion of findings, policy implications, and possible future research directions.

Keywords: deforestation, women, non-governmental organizations, cross-national

Topics: Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, NGOs Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, North America, South America, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Baltic states, Balkans, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Oceania Countries: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Year: 2008


© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Bangladesh