Series editor(s): Professor Carol Camp-Yeakey
Subject Area: Education
|Title:||17. STOLEN CHILDHOOD: CULTURAL CONSTRUCTIONS OF “UNMARRIED” PREGNANCY IN BANGLADESH|
|Volume:||4 Editor(s): Carol Camp Yeakey, Jeanita Richardson, and Judith Brooks Buck ISBN: 978-0-76230-831-6 eISBN: 978-1-84950-129-3|
|Citation:||Margot Wilson (2004), 17. STOLEN CHILDHOOD: CULTURAL CONSTRUCTIONS OF “UNMARRIED” PREGNANCY IN BANGLADESH, in Carol Camp Yeakey, Jeanita Richardson, and Judith Brooks Buck (ed.) Suffer The Little Children (Advances in Education in Diverse Communities: Research, Policy and Praxis, Volume 4), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.407-432|
|DOI:||10.1016/S1479-358X(04)04017-3 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Article type:||Chapter Item|
“Unmarried” is a term rigorously endorsed by CTRDW to refer not only to the marital status of the mother but also to the pregnancy and the infant born of that pregnancy. In this way, unmarried becomes a shorthand for “out of wedlock” mothers, pregnancies and infants. Once when I used the word “illegitimate” in conversation, CTRDW personnel immediately corrected me, arguing strenuously that no one has the right to judge another person, to label them as “legitimate” or not. In Bangladeshi parlance, the English word illegitimate is closer in meaning to unlawful. “Illegal” is another term in common usage to describe out of wedlock pregnancies, see for example the case histories of Masuda, Jacinta and Momtaj below. Since the women who sustain unmarried pregnancies and their children are severely judged by Bangladeshi cultural standards, the use of the term “unmarried” reflects an ideological shift from judgment (and blaming) of the victims to empathy and support. For these reasons, I have used the term unmarried throughout the discussion that follows.
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