The Reality of Sexual Exploitation in Bangladesh

February 18, 2015 2 min read

I have often mentioned when discussing dignify & my work that I, personally, am more focused on the business aspect than the social justice results.

Partly this is because of my skills, interests, & affinities: my background is in marketing, I love visual aesthetics & design, and I am a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none personality that lends itself well to small business.

I also mention this to people partly because it brings things down to earth. When you tell someone you are working in “fair trade” and employing women who have been trafficked and sexually exploited, they tend to feel overwhelmed and somehow inferior. But I am no saint. I am a very unremarkable person, doing something I really enjoy, that happens to have very significant & remarkable results.

So, I keep my head down, focus on what I know (well, and on a lot of things I don’t know – running a business is like doing 18 jobs at once): photographing blankets, mailing packages, creative marketing, etc.  Sure, I think about the women involved – I see their names, receive pictures from their office, & marvel over their handiwork.

But I forget about why they are there, at Basha, in that office, stitching their names.

And then, this.

I couldn’t watch it in one sitting. It is grave and it is true. As Basha wrote, “If you want to know why we work tirelessly to make sure Basha can expand throughout Bangladesh, this will show you why. It is graphic, it is disturbing, but it is an amazingly candid view of what is happening here. It ends stating the fact that once embroiled in prostitution, there is little to no chance of leaving. This is what Basha is changing, one blanket, one bracelet, at a time.”

It shook me back to the heart of the matter. It made me mad & sad & more inspired than ever. We will grow, we will sell, we will aid, we will empower. We need to. Join us:

Shop, Follow, Share, Tell, Pray.

Arthur Ashe said, “To achieve greatness, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” For specific actions, click below.

SHOP KANTHA PRODUCTS

SHARE THIS ON FACEBOOK

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

RECEIVE EMAILS TO PRAY FOR BASHA IN BANGLADESH


Leave a comment


Also in Shop Good Blog

On Justice & Privilege

June 09, 2020 3 min read 1 Comment

A few stories, as I parse through the complexities of privilege & justice…


Growing Up Together

When I was in Bangladesh, we visited a village outside of Jashore (a city in which Basha has a production centre, where I visited a brothel) to call on some homes of women who sew blankets for Basha

We spent time visiting in Dhomina’s relatively large home. The space had been expanded to include a separate cooking space — built upon because of the income she earned making kantha for Basha, for us. Amazing!

Read More
How I Learned to Be A Good Cook (With 3 Fail-safe, Versatile Dinner Recipes)

May 29, 2020 7 min read 2 Comments

I've shared my favourite reads in the past, and today I'm sharing some faves to cook.

This is not a cooking blog (obviously) and I haven't styled any plates or hired any food photographers. I am no expert, but I do cook great food. This assertion is not self-congratulatory! I have little (no) inherent skill and I attribute all of my good cooking to 1) other people's excellent recipes, 2) access to fresh, reliable, & varied food, and 3) time (ie. the time I currently have currently to cook AND the many years of practice).

Read More
A dignify/basha update during the pandemic

May 15, 2020 4 min read 1 Comment

What is happening with dignify?

How are the women in Bangladesh doing?

What impact has the coronavirus pandemic had on what you're doing?

These are all questions I have received over the last two months, so here are some updates.

Read More