Pamelia Khaled: What have been the constraints achieving truly socio- cultural norms of women costumes in Bangladeshi multicultural society? It is no longer a particular culture where Bangladeshi women belong? We have conventional Bengali culture, ethnic/indigenous culture and also liberal / modern Muslim traditions as well as conservative conventional Islamic culture.
We must not forget there is an assimilation and acculturation process in the society, which is an ongoing process. Social change has taken places in food habit patterns and costumes since the last 1 century. Social change always evolves in a new way.
We must embrace the new changes if they are supportive and progressive. There is a massive social change has taken place in Bangladeshi urban society and its all spheres of life. Working women ( rural or urban) are not able keeping pace with the modest wearing of sari or salwar kamiz only. They can wear any clothes that suites to her work environment such as in gymnasium, in nursing, in air industry, in education, in mining or in farming.
Thus, there is no provision making boundary or limit women in terms of wearing clothes followed by their social costumes and in terms of location. Culture is what we eat and what we are. Over and above, a culture is how we assimilate and accept new changes for our comfort and progress.
If one believes in a rich conception of democracy, one that fully respects social justice, diversity and equality; rather than simply equality of opportunity of women in education and job, then ownership of her rights of wearing costumes (for any women of a group/community) equally should be a natural extension of democracy.