Sunday, January 8, 2012
Farjana Easmin, the young woman who drew the nation’s attention last year through calmly and courageously divorcing her husband hours into their wedding as a protest against his family’s demand for dowry, says she dreams of freeing the country from the malaise one day.
“It is tough for a girl to fight against dowry, but I will continue my struggle against it.
That’s my dream,” she said at a reception accorded to her by Bangladesh Nari Sangbadik Kendra at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday.
The brave young woman won people’s hearts when she decided to divorce her husband at their wedding ceremony in Barguna on November 11 last year.
Yesterday, she said she believed it was important for a girl in Bangladesh to become economically independent in order to raise her voice against dowry.
Farjana was working in an insurance company when her parents arranged her marriage to Shawkat Ali Heron, headmaster of Kolapara Uttar Chakamoiya Government Primary School. As the ceremony got under way, the bridegroom’s family asked hers for dowry. Farjana did not hesitate to make her decision right then and there.
“The wedding day was the biggest day of my life as in the case of any other girl. But because of dowry it turned out to be the biggest nightmare of my life. I don’t want this to ever happen to any other girl,” she said while talking to The Daily Star before the reception.
She urged the government, parents, media and others concerned to provide all-out support to women across the country in their struggle against the dowry system.
Farjana, who holds a post-graduate degree in Social Welfare from Eden College, says she has always been vocal against dowry.
“Dowry destroys the very rights of a girl,” she said, “We know that asking for dowry is a crime and yet we hardly protest when demands for dowry are made. Girls should stand up against this curse the moment they face it.”
Farjana called upon men to consider women as their co-fighters, not competitors.
Other participants at the programme noted that young women needed to raise their collective voice against dowry. They said Farjana was an inspiration in the movement against this social evil.