Since the Women World Conference in Mexico in 1975 (which was a momentous event in the battle for equality) Bangladeshi women suffer that his city has been at the forefront among the least developed countries in addressing gender inequalities.
Bangladesh has the eighth lowest level of gender differences in terms of political empowerment in the world. This is partly due to the fact that a female head of state has had a longer time than any other country in the world. In addition, the proportion of seats held by women in the national parliament doubled from 10 percent in 1990 to 20 percent in 2011. The increasing presence in the political sphere has had important implications in the family structure. Society is moving away from the traditional idea that women are an economic burden and that sons are more desirable than women. Studies show that the growing independence of women is one of the main causes of the decrease in the phenomenon of the “disappearance of women” – infanticide due to gender – in Bangladesh.
In the economic sphere, women have also played a fundamental role, as evidenced by the importance of the garment sector. Although the proportion of men and women employed in manufacturing is more or less the same, the vast majority of workers in the clothing sector are women: between 80 and 85 percent. The economic success of the last two decades of Bangladesh is due in large part to the export of textiles to Europe and North America.
Although women usually do not own land and do not possess the necessary tools for agriculture, their work has been of vital importance in the success of Bangladesh’s agricultural productivity. The country stands out when compared to other countries in Asia in terms of increased agricultural productivity.
In addition, Bangladesh has made significant progress in terms of women’s health over the last three decades. The women expectancy life, for example, increased from 54.3 years in 1980 to 69.3 years in 2010, one of the highest increases in the region.
Bazaar of Cox
In Bangladesh, specifically in a place called Bazaar of Cox, something incredible is occurring: Eight young girls are learning to surf each morning, raining or sunning, these girls go out of his houses, in the traditional villages and do his way to the beach, where work the sale of jewels, fried chips, and eggs until the night.
His families depend on his income to survive.
For the big majority of Bangladeshi girls, this would be his only activity until they marry, generally before fulfilling the 18 years old and assume being masters of the of the house or the domestic role.
But during the last year and a half, these eight girls have been learning to surf, skate, and make his dream, thanks to the efforts of the surfers and lifeguard Rashed Alam, his wife Venessa Rude and to Cox’s Bazaar Lifesaving and Surf Club.
The photographer Allison Joyce realized on the history of these eight “brave and vivacious” girls, from among 10 and 13 years, during the filming of a work for the Club of Surf of Getty Images in 2013. It returned several times over the next years to document as they continued these youngsters with his activity of surf, in a Muslim conservative country. “It’s bizarre to see to the girls, of vivacious spirit in Bangladesh”, says Joyce.
“But you already see that when they stand up in the surfboard and when they are skating, his life, the day in day out, breaks with the traditional papers that the women have in Bangladesh.”
Whereas there are other girls working in the Bazaar of Cox beach, these eight girls, had the good fortune to work in the stretch near of the Club of Surf, where Rashed Alam works, the volume under his protection to teach them to surf.
Venessa Rude is his tutor and instructs them on the theory…during six days to the week, Alam teaches them the technics of the surf. Between Rashed and his wife, they prepare the girls so that they can achieve places of lifeguard work when fulfilling the 16 years. They would be the first women lifeguards on the beach.
This project has allowed the girls to dream of a further life of the traditional future that expects of them. Now you ask them and say you what want to be: ‘I Want to be a lifeguard,”,“I want to be a pro surfer or Sumi wants to be medical.”
To make the photographic documentary, Allison Joyce gone with some girls to his homes, in the majority of them didn’t have running water either electricity. The trek that makes the girls from his houses to the beach daily can be treacherous and long. Sanctions by not working are hard and even some girls receive lickings by his own familiar if they do not bring home sufficient money, even when the ways are closed because of strikes.
We expect that this project doesn’t finish never so that the girls can go out of the traditional roles and can have a future. His lives can really change and decide by the same. They are small steps but at the same time tremendously big in a male chauvinistic society and be born woman is not at all easy.
The first Indian feminine surfer: Ishita Malaviya
Born in Mumbai, Malaviya has turned into an icon in a country where the feminine bend and the patriarchal surroundings are the bread of each day. It’s the first Indian feminine surfer that competes to a professional level.
It’s the first woman pro surfer in India, with all what this involves. The way so that a woman can make what wishes in a country controlled by men isn’t easy.
Malaviya has opened the way for all Indian women, that don’t live an easy situation. She has shown us that in addition to an impressive culture, India is full of perfect waves!
India surf Ambassador: From the year 2004, Malaviya is the image of the brand Roxy Surfwear, and also has been sponsored by Quiksilver.
Some hard beginnings
Be the first feminine surfer in India hasn’t been easy. Malaviya had his first contact with surf of the hand of a German student on exchange and began to surf in 2007.
From then, the surf turned into his big passion, approaching surf in a professional way. Malaviya has said on numerous occasions that his dream and his ambition is to promote India as an international surf destination.
The Shaka Surf Club
In 2007, Ishita and Tushar decided to buy a surfboard and start The Shaka Surf Club. At first, they wanted their friends to experience the thrill of riding a wave, but gradually people started approaching them to learn surfing. They found themselves giving surf lessons so they could raise capital to buy more surfboards.
What started out as a couple of college kids teaching their friends how to surf eventually evolved into one of the first surf schools in India.
Now that the two of them have graduated college, they have decided to pursue the surfer’s path and continue to run The Shaka Surf Club, full time. Tushar and Ishita are also Open-water Scuba Divers.
They have also received training in Surf rescue, First Aid and CPR by the American Red Cross Society.
Tushar and Ishita are both parts of the first surf team in India.
Nowadays Malaviya directs the Shaka surf club, with his boyfriend and infancy fellow Tushar Pathyan.
The club is situated on the Konkan coast, in concrete in a village called Kodi Brenge.
In 2014, this surf club made a video documentary titled: A rising tide – The India Surf Story.
It is a documentary of thirteen minutes of length on the origins of the surfing in India.
The situation in India for the feminine surfer community is such, that has done a film to show the fight that has to face daily. Malaviya Appears surfing landscapes of India, accompanied by other feminine western surfers feminine.
It takes us into the small coastal towns of India and tells us how a young Hindu surfer is revolutionizing the customs of that remote region thanks to her love of the waves. Not in vain, the ocean has traditionally been a place frequented only by men (fishermen in their majority) and there has never been seen with good eyes that women go to the beach. But the customs are changing little by little and, to demonstrate that the initiative that this brave young man has undertaken is very necessary in the 21st century, five other
American surfers have traveled to India to ride waves together, discover the country as a way of road-trip and give free rein to his more spiritual side. We have had the opportunity to interview the director and photographer Dave Homcy, who has answered the questions through his mobile phone in full snowstorm from a remote town in the United States where he was shooting a television series. Undoubtedly, a good way to get into the back of a travel documentary unique in its kind, with the backdrop of surfing and a millenary culture that is changing under the magical influence of the waves.
With Malaviya like the protagonist, shows us how this sport is developing in the country, especially between women, and what will find if we decide to include it on a surf trip. Yoga, meditation, culture, virgin beaches… a pleasure for the senses.
This production supposes a hope for all those Indian women that dream with surf free like this, somehow, of the control to the that are subjected in the Asian country. It is a bridge between cultures, very necessary, and a launching of India like surf destination.