Social Capital and Women Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh
Khan, A. N. M. Shibly Noman
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On July 22, 2003, Dukhimon Begum, a 40-year old mother of four from Durgapur Upazila (an administrative unit of northern Bangladesh) of the Rajshahi district in the northern part of the country, quarreled with her rickshaw-puller husband, about buying a cloth saree for her niece for latter’s marriage. The family did not have any food at home to eat that night and the husband went io pull his rickshaw next morning hungry. Faced with such abject poverty! and starvation, Dukhimon fed her two small daughters pesticide-laced biscuits and ate some herself in order to be free from her misery and impoverishment (The Daily Star). Dukhimon Begum and the women of Durgapur are citizens of Bangladesh. The liberation struggle of 1971 was putatively for them - to free people from the exploitation of the Pakistanis, especially the ‘22 families ’ who had exceptional political and economic power. Millions willingly gave their lives in that struggle. After independence, politicians made countless promises, and are still so doing, to improve their living conditions. The policymakers also formulated many economic plans based on ‘trickle-down 'principles. But the living conditions of women such as Dukhimon Begum have not improved.