Department of Sociology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 (email@example.com).
“One able daughter is worth 10 illiterate sons”: Reframing the patriarchal family
Article first published online: 9 NOV 2004
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 66, Issue 5, pages 1332–1341, December 2004
How to Cite
Sultan Ahmed, S. and Bould, S. (2004), “One able daughter is worth 10 illiterate sons”: Reframing the patriarchal family. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66: 1332–1341. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-2445.2004.00096.x
- Issue published online: 9 NOV 2004
- Article first published online: 9 NOV 2004
- garment factories;
- mothers’ employment;
- patriarchal family;
- son preference
This research note reports on interviews with 120 mothers employed in garment factories in Bangladesh. These mothers express views on the necessity of being married, having sons, and educating daughters that challenge traditional patriarchal practices. They report that men of their families can no longer guarantee women and children lifetime support in the context of extreme poverty and landlessness. Many of them thus choose to assist their husbands, brothers, and parents through wage employment. Their employment creates a space in which these women can begin to make choices and decisions independent of the wishes of the men in their families. Their responses indicate a crack in the traditional patriarchal family system, which requires that a woman be dependent, first on her father, then on her husband, and then on her adult son.