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Social Stress


Few years back I was an employee of a multinational telecom. It was a natural thing, almost every month either dinners or concerts or any kind of programs used to take place. But my parents or particularly, the society always was a problem. Because it was a case of security. If you remember Maslow’s theory, security is the second most important issue/ need of the hierarchy. After your basic needs are solved/ attended, you have to ensure security. And what I had to do was I had to leave the job, because I was becoming unsocial. This sort of stress is very common in Bangladesh. And almost every woman faces this social stress.

In Bangladesh, homeless widows or divorced women live with severe stress because of their terrible circumstances. Their independent living is hampered owing to several stressors such as poverty, unemployment, lack of shelter and abuse. These stressors contribute to higher rates of mental illness, substance abuse and health problems among them. So it is important for them to cope or adjust with persisting stress to prevent harmful impact of stress on health.

When talking about stress, you have to consider job stress. Women face this sort of stress in job sectors/ that is in offices too. For example, when I was working in a third party of Nokia, the local management used to make the condition worse for me by making comments and some official decisions too. The reason was, the COO used to take opinion in few sectors, mostly regarding Customer Service. Come on, I used to work in customer service for some time and moreover I was the customer service trainer for the execs in that company. They never could take the relationship with my boss normally. They always used to think there is something fishy. But just think, if there would have been a man instead of me, this situation would never arise. So, this is another case where I had to be stressed.

In an article titled “More women suffering from stress problems” is mentioned- Women's mental health is deteriorating as increasing numbers seek help from psychiatrists, new figures show. The burdens of keeping a job, raising children and looking after elderly parents are driving more than ever before to the edge of a nervous breakdown, experts say.
Another article mentions about a study, published by BMC Public Health, focused on women in Bangladesh. It says, while adverse circumstances such as poor nutrition and poverty can affect a child’s health and ability to survive, this study shows that mental health problems play an even bigger role in children’s health and infant mortality rates.
Researchers studied over 700 women in two rural areas near Bangladesh. All the women were in their third trimester. They were assessed for antepartum depression and anxiety. They were followed for up to 8 months after giving birth. The babies born to the women who were diagnosed with anxiety or depression (18% of the subjects) were much more likely to be quite small at birth than those babies born to the other women. There is a strong connection between death in infancy and low birth weight, making the findings of this study very concerning. Providing mental health services in these countries may help decrease the child mortality rate.
Another major stress factor for the rural women in Bangladesh is Dowry-related violence. It is a common feature in Bangladesh affecting the lives of many women. Other than specific acts of violence, such as killings, torture, the throwing of acid and the like, dowry demands affect the lives of women socially and culturally in a much deeper manner. Fundamentally, they undermine the equality of women and create culturally accepted forms of discrimination against them.
It is an evil prevalent in the society and despite efforts by some activists and women's rights organization to eliminate this menace; the numbers have continued to climb. In villages marriage was once considered a much sanctified bond united in the worst or best of times, in sickness or in health through the vicissitudes of life. But dowry related deaths have shattered that bond of peaceful and happy relationship.
A recent survey by the Bangladesh Human Rights Organisation, and Bangladesh Women Lawyers Association revealed that in 2001, there were 12,500 cases of women repression, in 2002 the figure rose to 18,455 and in the year ending in 2003 the figure climbed to 22,450. The grisly act of a brute and greedy husband as reported in the newspapers in December 27 last is a story better not be heard. Having failed to realise a dowry claim of Tk. 20,000/= Shamsher killed her wife Marina just on the 22nd day of their marriage. The most grisly side of the story is that Shamsher hired three other monsters for Tk. 300/= and Marina was slaughtered by Shamsher after she was forced to be gangraped by four human monsters including himself.
Another case of dowry is Beauty Akhtar. She was married to Muntaj Ahmed about two and a half years ago. Beauty's father met his son-in-law's dowry demand by paying three lakh taka. But Muntaj's greed was insatiable. He started torturing her for more money and at one stage locked her in a room for three days without food. It so happened that on November 12 last, the entire family including husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law and other in-laws beat her with iron rod in a row".
Marriage is not a very happy event for a girl’s life in rural areas. Though the government is trying hard to resist this dowry system, still it’s taking place due to the mentality. The young girls are highly stressed with these systems. They need to be helped…..

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