Women, English and empowerment: voices from rural Bangladesh

Women, English and Empowerment: Voices from Rural Bangladesh - Sayeedur Rahman at the 11th Language & Development Conference, 2015

Sayeedur Rahman is Associate Professor and Teacher-in-Charge of English language in the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Sayeedur Rahman is Associate Professor and Teacher-in-Charge of English language in the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

“English allows me to be powerful.”

In a monolingual country, the women in rural village, 40 Km away from the capital city of Dhaka, want to learn English because it makes her confident and enables her to voice her opinion in family. This belief stands in tall where sometimes a husband does not allow his wife to access computer in their home.

The session by Sayeedur Rahman from Bangladesh, told tales of five women in a village called Dhamarai. The ethnographic study revealed stories of women who work in garment factories, schools and Small and Medium Enterprises.

The study revealed perception and beliefs of these women about English and its impact on their lives. It was found that in the microcosm where English is little used, the urge to learn English is strong because it is felt that it would enable them to get better jobs and communicate with people from across the world and participate in world economy.

The issue that could possibly be deeply looked into would be the interpretation of the concept of empowerment by these rural voices.

Post by: Ruchi Jain
The writer is the Academic Manager English Partnerships for British Council in East India

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