It is not about wearing purple. It is about choice.

Fahima Hossain

16976597_10155086580418680_1592759875_nIt is not only about wearing purple, when having a discussion on women’s rights.

I was having a chat after the court hours with my female colleagues who were lawyers and planning to wear purple costumes on the women’s day. It is a very popular way of celebrating the women’s day in Bangladesh. I mentioned that international women’s day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women throughout the history across the nations.

In the middle of the conversation one of my old friend, whom I met after a long time, asked me the scary question: why I do not have any children yet? Asking a very personal question to strangers is very common in Bangladesh. Traditionally, the next step after getting married is becoming a mother. Opting out of motherhood is a taboo not only in my country, Bangladesh, but also in many countries in the world.

The answer in may case is that when I was seventeen, a hole  was detected in my heart and then I decided to remain child-free. I have been married for nineteen years. No one wanted to believe my true answer, so I was choosing different answers according to the person asking. Sometimes I answered that I don’t want to burden my country as it is already overpopulated – a very dissatisfying answer! Sometimes I used to say, I do not have the urge for the child or do not feel incomplete without being a mother. Also this is our choice.

While doing my international law and human rights studies in the University of Tartu, I have realized that I have no accountability to anyone to defend my decision of not having children. This year I have found my final answer: I have decided not to use my uterus. Period. It is my right as a woman, which is also known as ‘women’s right’.

I wish you a beautiful International Women’s Day!


Edited by Mariann Rikka

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