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, Dalit rights activists break new grounds in South Asia, UN Women, 2018

Brief account of the initiative of Moni Rani Das, a Dalit woman living in Dhaka, Bangladesh, who started advocating for nearly 3 million Dalit women living in the country and became the first Dalit woman sitting on the National Human Rights Commission in Bangladesh. Her activism is a source of empowerment for 120 million women altogether that live in South Asia and contributed to the transnational activism of FEDO, Feminist Dalit Organisation based in Nepal, which formed connection with the UN’s Women Fund for Gender Equality; more local organisations such as Nagorik Uddyog in Bangladesh, Swadhikar and Asia Dalit Rights Forum in India; and the Human Development Organization (HDO) in Sri Lanka. By predominantly promoting women’s economic rights, FEDO’s activity constitutes a protection against gender-based violence against Dalit women.

Aktar, Solnara, Transnational feminism and women’s activism: Strategies for engagement and empowerment in Bangladesh, Asian Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 25, no. 2, 2019, pp. 285-294

This article aims to review the strategic experience of individuals and human rights organizations for human rights, women's rights, gender equality and social justice in Bangladesh. Following an empirical research methodology, this article has been written on the four themes: education, engagement, empowerment, and advocacy. The organizations were selected because of their creative concepts, innovative approaches, achievements and impact on the public. The study focuses on how the “Unite for Body Rights” program provides education related to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR); how men from local community engage themselves in promoting gender equality and social justice; how “acid survivors” transform themselves into “survivor ambassadors” and empower themselves as women’s rights activists; and how the five leading human rights organizations in Bangladesh contributed to “banning the ‘two-finger test’ on rape survivors.”

Bartkowski, Maciej J., Recovering Nonviolent History: Civil Resistance in Liberation Struggles, ed. Bartkowski, Maciej J., Boulder, CO, Lynne Rienner, 2013, pp. 436

Ambitious volume in historical and geographical range (from 1765 to current struggles, and in every continent). Individual chapters feature in relevant sections of this bibliography.

Chesney-Lind, Meda ; Hadi, Syeda Tonima, Patriarchy, Abortion, and the Criminal System: Policing Female Bodies, Women & Criminal Justice, Vol. 27, no. 1, 2017, pp. 73-88

This paper argues for a conceptualisng denial of abortion as the patriarchal policing of women’s bodies and their sexuality. The authors briefly review international trends regarding abortion politics, including many thousands of abortion related deaths, injuries and loss of fertility, and then analyze women’s access to abortion in two countries, the United States and Bangladesh, which represent two very different contexts: the developed and developing world. They argue that abortion services are being constrained by misogynistic politics that deny women control over their bodies. Finally, the paper reviews recent international efforts to establish abortion rights in the context of human rights. In particular, a recent United Nation’s report describes moves to recriminalise both contraception and abortion in the U.S. and Europe as the deliberate denial of medically available and necessary services and hence a form of “torture.”

Godrej, Dinyar, For a Few Cents More:': Interview with Anannya Bhattacharjee from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance campaigning for a living wage, New Internationalist, 2020, pp. 32-33

The interview examines the role of Asian garment workers in a ruthlessly competitive garment industry influenced by 'fast fashion', which intensifies pressure on workers through forced overtime and 'inhuman productivity targets'. The Asia Floor Wage Alliance was created to unite unions across the borders of countries such as  India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka competing for market share, to create a regional bloc able to negotiate with the global brands in the industry. The aim was to ensure there is a cross-border minimum wage which cannot be breached, though the aim is also to raise wages, which would only entail a small rise to consumers. There is now recognition of the principle of an Asia Floor Wage across the industry, supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO), but pressure on the brands is needed. AFWA works with other labour rights bodies and NGOs, and also has partners in Europe and the US, where the global brands have their headquarters.

See also: and (ILO-Bangladesh).

Hoskins, tansy, Striking Back', (review of film Udita (Arise), Red Pepper, 2015


The film Udita (made by the Rainbow Collective) traces the struggle by women garment workers in Bangladesh to get better conditions and pay in the context of appalling and dangerous conditions. The film stresses the growing  resistance by the women and interviews a woman organiser who describes the tactics used to make their boss pay them unpaid wages. It is still extremely relevant as the movement of Bangladeshi garment workers continues. The Guardian Weekly (18 January 2019, p. 7.) reported briefly on a strike by thousands of garment workers for better pay which had shut down 52 factories and was in its second week. The previous Sunday women had blockaded a road just outside Dhaka. The film is made available on YouTube at this link

Hussein, Nazia, Rethinking New Womanhood: Practices Of Gender, Class, Culture And Religion In South Asia, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp. 231

A collection of essays by feminist scholars and activists in South Asia outlining the development of feminism in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan over the last decade with regard to the social embodiment of women, television representations, LGTB discourses, domestic violence, and the “new” feminism.

Loonba, Ania ; Lukose, Ritty A., South Asian Feminisms, Durham NC, Duke University Press, 2012, pp. 432

Building on 40 years of activism and scholarship, contributors assess recent feminist issues and campaigns in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Nasir, Zakia, Feminism and power in the post-colonial societies of the sub-continent, Asia Dialogue, 2019

Explores the use of power over women in post-colonial Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

Operation Omega, Operation Omega, In Hare; Blumberg, Liberation without Violence: A Third Party Approach (A. 5. Nonviolent Intervention and Accompaniment), London, Rex Collings, pp. 196-206

After Pakistani repression of the 1971 East Bengali independence movement and outbreak of the India-Pakistan war, a transnational team tried with some success to take relief supplies into East Bengal. Their aim was to provide practical aid to refugees and protest against Pakistani army repression. At the same time US activists blocked arms supplies to Pakistan (see also  Taylor, Blockade: A Guide to Nonviolent Intervention (E.3. Opposing Other Wars and Occupations) ).

Sohela, Nazneen, The women's movement in Bangladesh, Banani, Dhaka, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2017, pp. 24

An exploration of the history of the women’s movement in Bangladesh, its achievements and the internal and external challenges for a sustainable movement it faces. The author weaves in broader historical changes and discusses the nature of the current political context and its impact on the feminist movement in Bangladesh.