Council on Anthropology and Education
Oral Presentation Session
I am a middle-aged Muslim female from a “Third World” country, Bangladesh. Within that “Third World” I enjoyed privileges of the “First World” coming from an upper-middle class family, obtaining education from all the top institutions in my country, and working directly with and for government agencies, private sector enterprises (multinational) and development organisations at mid-senior levels. But it is when I had joined a formal job, I became aware of some axes of differences because of who I am, because of my gender, class, nationality, and religion. I have come to realize that despite having a strong educational background, work experience, and family privileges, I am also being marginalized and discriminated, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly. My decade-long experience as a development practitioner helped me to realize the gaps and shortfalls in so-called developmental initiatives in addressing social justice. I have also felt the absence of “good” research in my country that can lead to social changes. Following my family culture, I have always been involved with different part-time, voluntary, and charity works since my student life and most of my works were with vulnarable people, particularly women and children. Now that I look back, I realize that I have been inconspicuously cultivating the elements of social justice in my thoughts and works. With the course of time, social justice has become the guiding principle of my life at both personal and professional levels. But, can I break free from the axes of differences that define me and others?