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The Travelettes of Bangladesh: Empowering Muslim women through travel

TravelWomen

The Travelettes of Bangladesh: Empowering Muslim women through travel

“Exploring Bangladesh saw us going up hills and mountains, we discovered hidden springs and even stayed with the tribal people. We caught fishes from the streams, ate snails for dinner, and experienced myriad festivals. It was amazing.”

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The Travelettes of Bangladesh, starting with four women on scooter-bikes set on a mission to visit all 64 districts in Bangladesh, has turned into something much bigger then any of them had planned: its now become a platform to empower women and girls across the country. As described on their website, the Travelettes of Bangladesh write:

[We’re] a platform of 40,000+ girls of Bangladesh. [We] promote the empowerment of women by teaching them to raise their voices, going out of their home, speaking out, and seeing the beauty of the country through their own eyes. Sounds normal maybe, but being a Bangladeshi, where girls are taught to lower their gazes and be confined to their homes, that’s actually saying something. Our main motto is: ‘Empower women through traveling’.”

Over a four-month period, the initially small group of women first travelled to 21 districts on their scooter-bikes. The founding five members, Dr. Sakia Haque, Dr. Monoshi Saha Tuli, Zannatul Ferdous Shova, Shamsun Nahar Shuma, and Musfiqa Rahman Nijhum, were on a campaign to visit all 64 districts of the country and share their story from the perspective of female travellers. Something rare and frowned upon in much of Bangladesh, they were determined to fulfil their dreams of travel despite the backlash they faced in the beginning.

Now on a six-day tour to promote women’s empowerment, the women have visited both historical and coastal areas of Bangladesh, such as Patuakhali, Barguna, Pirojpur, and Kuakata, and have even stopped by secondary schools in remote areas to showcase a different and positive image of independent female role models. Dr. Sakia Haque, the founder of the group, wrote on her passion and love for both her country of Bangladesh as well as for travel:

My family taught me to love my country but not to explore it…I convinced my family that travelling is a good thing. They were initially furious, but now that I had a desi (local) female travel partner, my family was easier to manage.”

After convincing her family and starting the group, Dr. Haque was able to slowly begin discovering and travelling around Bangladesh – all while still studying and proving to her family that she could do both. Seeing her country for the first time as a traveller, Dr. Haque felt empowered to share her experiences and love for travel with other women and girls of Bangladesh:

We travelled through Bangladesh deep and wide. Exploring Bangladesh saw us going up hills and mountains, we discovered hidden springs and even stayed with the tribal people. We caught fishes from the streams, ate snails for dinner, and experienced myriad festivals. It was amazing.”

The Travelettes of Bangladesh, originally just a Facebook group, has now expanded into a wide platform, encouraging and supporting women and girls to explore and discover both their country as well as themselves through travel. Now with more than 40,000 women as part of the group, the Travelettes have also taken more than 2,700 women on trips across the country.

According to Dr. Haque, no one in their history has attempted to travel to all 64 districts of Bangladesh on a scooter-bike; something the Travelettes of Bangladesh have finally accomplished. Not without their struggles, Dr. Haque describes the hardships in the beginning when many did not support their dreams:

People have tried to talk us out of it, saying, ‘What if you get raped on the way?’, ‘What if you’re kidnapped and things get snatched?’. People laughed at us, we were so slow, and even bicycles rode way ahead of us! However, we hung in there. We started getting better quickly. We realised it only takes patience and practice.”

The Travelettes of Bangladesh have continued to empower and encourage women across Bangladesh, and have even inspired other groups of women across the world to travel and discover their own inner strength. In a time where female empowerment is more important than ever to help support and encourage, these women remain an inspiring example of goodness in our world today.

To learn more about the Travelettes of Bangladesh, you can visit their website here. You can also visit their Facebook page, as well as their YouTube channel.

Whilst you’re here…

The Muslim Vibe is a non-profit media platform aiming to inspire, inform and empower Muslims like you. Our goal is to provide a space for young Muslims to learn about their faith as well as news stories affecting them, so we can reclaim the Muslim narrative from the mainstream.

Your support will help us achieve this goal, and enable us to produce more original content. Your support can help us in the fight against Islamophobia, by building a powerful platform for young Muslims who can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.

Please consider supporting The Muslim Vibe, from as little as £1 – it will only take a minute. Thank you and Jazakallah.

Keep Reading

“Exploring Bangladesh saw us going up hills and mountains, we discovered hidden springs and even stayed with the tribal people. We caught fishes from the streams, ate snails for dinner, and experienced myriad festivals. It was amazing.”

The Travelettes of Bangladesh, starting with four women on scooter-bikes set on a mission to visit all 64 districts in Bangladesh, has turned into something much bigger then any of them had planned: its now become a platform to empower women and girls across the country. As described on their website, the Travelettes of Bangladesh write:

[We’re] a platform of 40,000+ girls of Bangladesh. [We] promote the empowerment of women by teaching them to raise their voices, going out of their home, speaking out, and seeing the beauty of the country through their own eyes. Sounds normal maybe, but being a Bangladeshi, where girls are taught to lower their gazes and be confined to their homes, that’s actually saying something. Our main motto is: ‘Empower women through traveling’.”

Over a four-month period, the initially small group of women first travelled to 21 districts on their scooter-bikes. The founding five members, Dr. Sakia Haque, Dr. Monoshi Saha Tuli, Zannatul Ferdous Shova, Shamsun Nahar Shuma, and Musfiqa Rahman Nijhum, were on a campaign to visit all 64 districts of the country and share their story from the perspective of female travellers. Something rare and frowned upon in much of Bangladesh, they were determined to fulfil their dreams of travel despite the backlash they faced in the beginning.

Now on a six-day tour to promote women’s empowerment, the women have visited both historical and coastal areas of Bangladesh, such as Patuakhali, Barguna, Pirojpur, and Kuakata, and have even stopped by secondary schools in remote areas to showcase a different and positive image of independent female role models. Dr. Sakia Haque, the founder of the group, wrote on her passion and love for both her country of Bangladesh as well as for travel:

My family taught me to love my country but not to explore it…I convinced my family that travelling is a good thing. They were initially furious, but now that I had a desi (local) female travel partner, my family was easier to manage.”

After convincing her family and starting the group, Dr. Haque was able to slowly begin discovering and travelling around Bangladesh – all while still studying and proving to her family that she could do both. Seeing her country for the first time as a traveller, Dr. Haque felt empowered to share her experiences and love for travel with other women and girls of Bangladesh:

We travelled through Bangladesh deep and wide. Exploring Bangladesh saw us going up hills and mountains, we discovered hidden springs and even stayed with the tribal people. We caught fishes from the streams, ate snails for dinner, and experienced myriad festivals. It was amazing.”

The Travelettes of Bangladesh, originally just a Facebook group, has now expanded into a wide platform, encouraging and supporting women and girls to explore and discover both their country as well as themselves through travel. Now with more than 40,000 women as part of the group, the Travelettes have also taken more than 2,700 women on trips across the country.

According to Dr. Haque, no one in their history has attempted to travel to all 64 districts of Bangladesh on a scooter-bike; something the Travelettes of Bangladesh have finally accomplished. Not without their struggles, Dr. Haque describes the hardships in the beginning when many did not support their dreams:

People have tried to talk us out of it, saying, ‘What if you get raped on the way?’, ‘What if you’re kidnapped and things get snatched?’. People laughed at us, we were so slow, and even bicycles rode way ahead of us! However, we hung in there. We started getting better quickly. We realised it only takes patience and practice.”

The Travelettes of Bangladesh have continued to empower and encourage women across Bangladesh, and have even inspired other groups of women across the world to travel and discover their own inner strength. In a time where female empowerment is more important than ever to help support and encourage, these women remain an inspiring example of goodness in our world today.

To learn more about the Travelettes of Bangladesh, you can visit their website here. You can also visit their Facebook page, as well as their YouTube channel.

Whilst you’re here…

The Muslim Vibe is a non-profit media platform aiming to inspire, inform and empower Muslims like you. Our goal is to provide a space for young Muslims to learn about their faith as well as news stories affecting them, so we can reclaim the Muslim narrative from the mainstream.

Your support will help us achieve this goal, and enable us to produce more original content. Your support can help us in the fight against Islamophobia, by building a powerful platform for young Muslims who can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.

Please consider supporting The Muslim Vibe, from as little as £1 – it will only take a minute. Thank you and Jazakallah.

Keep Reading

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