Culture Featured FEATURED STORIES Global Home World

Global Understanding Convention Begins with: Forty-Two Years of Bangladesh

(The Verge) -This group panel discussion was the first program of this week’s Global Understanding Convention at Monmouth.  It took place Monday, April 08, 2013 at 10 am in Wilson Auditorium.  Golam M. Mathbor, Faisal Ahmmed, and Neaz Ahmed were the three speakers.  The discussion lasted for an hour and fifteen minutes; among the subjects mentioned were economic growth, gender, education, government, and agriculture.
The brief discourse began with a history of the country.  Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan in 1950’s, it was considered East Pakistan.  At the end of the 1960’s a mass revolution against Pakistan occurred, a nine month liberation period ensued and in 1971 Bangladesh achieved its independence.
The speakers said that Bangladesh is about the size of the state of Wisconsin.  The country has a population of around 150 million, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Bangladesh, a country on the rise (and densely populated), is making governmental strides to fix many of the problems of the past few decades. Image taken from:

Population is a large issue for Bangladesh, a speaker mentioned the fact, “we have a huge population but don’t use it in the right way.”  There are a couple of issues that directly relate to the concern over the population.  40% of the country is below the poverty line, it was described as a under developed country. Rice is the main product of agriculture in the country.  Food distribution is a very pressing issue, although Mr. Mathbor said the production is very strong.  This seemed to be a foreign concept to me; the difference between distribution and production.  This goes to show how far off our mentality is here compared with life in Bangladesh.
Getting back to population, Dr. Ahmed says, “we have a lack of a skilled workforce, and there is no government initiation to address this.”  This fact is crucial in the country’s shortcoming in globalization, which puts them all at a huge disadvantage.  In a question fielded by Professor Marina Vujnovic of the Communication Department, she asked, “Do you believe globalization has affected Bangladesh positively or negatively?”  Mr. Mathbor addressed this by noting the nonexistence of access due to the affordability.  Things are not affordable because of the weak workforce.   This outcome of Bangladesh: being a country that is very dependent on import and not much of an exporter, is sometimes very troubling for the nation.
The major issue that stuck out to me is the difference of views of women in the United States and Bangladesh.  On the issue, Dr. Ahmed said, “Once women are bread winners they will have some say in the household.”  This statement says a lot, insisting that women have no (to little) say in the house if they aren’t working.  They should have say regardless, no? The Bangladeshi government is taking strides to fix this ‘plague,’ but at the moment, there is still a stark gap between male ‘breadwinners’ and women ‘homemakers’ in the Eastern Asian country.
The panel was really quite revealing…A lot about this little-known country was unraveled and generally, I learned a lot. As far turnout goes for an early Monday morning, it was adequate, but only wish there could have been more in attendance. But I cannot say it enough: the panel was worth going to and very educational! I look forward to attending even more of the Global Understanding Programs this week, now that the Bangladesh session has whet my whistle, so to speak.
An example of civil unrest in Bangladesh. Image taken from: