Author Archives: nayeeb.fahmi

Posts: 5 (archived below)
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Women Empowerment

Female Participation Rate In Labor Force

Female are half of our society. Without the development of women, a society will find it hard to thrive. However, still lot societies are undervaluing the contribution of women.

I came from Bangladesh, a country in South Asia. There are a lot of cases of discrimination in that part. In different parts of the world, male-dominated society is very prevalent. Funny thing is, even in 1st world countries like US and Europe has some sort of discrimination against women. Even though there are lot of rights for women in US, the wage gap is still very much existent. In my first picture, I have presented a graph which shows the wage difference between men and women in different countries in EU.  The gap ranges from 30% to 4.9 %. Even in different countries in Europe, the gap fluctuates a lot. Imagine what that gap might be in countries where women have fewer rights and less working opportunities.

Next point that I want to talk about is women participation in labor force. I have included a link from World Bank which includes these particular sets of data from different countries. Surprisingly, women from some poorer countries are participating in work more than the developed countries. One more surprising fact is, women in some Middle Eastern countries and South Asian countries have the least amount of participation in work force. Some countries encourage women to care more about household chores rather than participating in work outside. I think this sort of mentality is very deterrent for the economic growth of a particular country. Some rich countries also have a much less participation rate in comparison to some Sub-Saharan African countries. I would say economic solvency is the issue in this case.  52% of the women aged more than 15 are participating in work.

I wanted to say that women need more empowerment and we can achieve that by providing good amount rights and work opportunities to them. In that way, a country could be benefited as well as those women whose role was previously confined inside four walls.

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Reduced Poverty Rates Of Asia

46 million Americans live in poverty (September 14, 2011)

Poverty Reduction in China – The World Bank

Poverty rate is the measurement of a country’s population living below the poverty line. Normally a percentage mark has been attributed to measure the poverty rate. For the major part of last decades, Western Europe, US and Japan used to have the least poverty rates in the world. But this scenario is slowly changing. A lot of impoverished part of Asia is coming out of poverty in a rapid way.

United States is the number one country in terms of GDP. It controls almost a quarter of the whole worlds’ GDP. However, things are becoming difficult for United States since the recession hits. Right now, 46 million people are below the poverty line, which s 15% of the whole population. This is their highest rate in the last 52 years. Same economic scenario is more or less prevalent in a lot of Western European countries apart from Germany. On the other hand, far-eastern countries are really doing well in the last 3 decades. Take a look at South Korea, which used to be an agricultural country after World War II. However, it has turned its fortune around and now it has become a very industrialized country, which has a lower poverty rate than a lot of Western countries. There are also some good examples in East Asia and South-East Asia, specially Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan etc. However, the biggest example is China. China used to be a very poor country after World War II. However, things have been very much changed right now. Back in 1945, China had a poverty rate of 70%. In 2012, the poverty rate of China is roughly 10%. In the last 3 decades, nearly 600 million came out of poverty. China’s development is the fastest in the history of human civilization. China becomes world’s biggest exporter of different goods, making them a mass producer. The middle class in China is the biggest in the whole world. Some other Asian countries are creating a good domestic demand in order to grow their economy and reducing poverty rates. Countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are good examples of this model. The poverty rate in South Asia is much higher in comparison to East Asia and South-East Asia; however it is also decreasing in a good rate as well. India has a poverty rate of 33%, which is significantly lower than 1990’s when it was more than 40%. In my home country Bangladesh, nearly 25% population has come out of poverty in the last 3 decades. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have also decreased their poverty. One thing needs to be mentioned though; the poverty level standard varies from country to country. In United States, the poorer people are still living a much better life in comparison to the poor’s in the third world countries.

This same scenario can be found inBrazil, which is reducing its poverty in a good rate. This graphs and statistics can only lead to one conclusion;Asia is slowly becoming the driving force in world economy. A lot of brutally colonized part ofAsia is coming out of poverty. This could only be good news for the US and European companies, now they have huge middle class consumers of China, India and South-East Asia to target to and it is a great news for the first world economies in the long-run.


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Arranged Marriage

The-Rise-of-Asian-Americans-Full-Report ( Page 96)

Indian-Americans looking for love

Arranged marriages in India 

Arranged marriage is a prevalent concept in some parts of the world. Arranged marriage is a concept where a person married his/her life partner, chosen by their family. The decision of parents is the biggest factor in this case. As I am from a country where arranged marriage is still very much prevalent, I had a first hand experience of seeing a lot of arrange marriage around me. I am going to talk about South Asian cultural stage here, not about the world stage.

Countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh(most of the South Asian countries in general) has a big share of arranged marriage. There are some reasons behind arrange marriage. One of the main reasons might be the importance of older people’s opinion about young generations’ lifestyle. Another reason is young peoples’ dependence on older ones when it comes to earning. A lot of people started to earn at a much older age, thus reducing their chance of having an opinion in important issues like choosing life-partners. Male dominated societies like South Asiaare affected by it. There are benefits and flaws of arrange marriage. The good sides of arrange marriage might be:

1) Arrange marriage leads to a less divorce rate, thus stabilizing the model of strong family-bond. For example, India has a divorce rate of 1.1% and both Pakistan and Bangladesh has less than 1%. On the other hand, Canada has a divorce rate of 72 % and US has more than 40%.

2) A stabilizing family only helps the couple to have kids and it is a very good environment to raise your children.

However, bad sides of arrange marriage is making this concept a very controversial one:

1)  Wife beating can be very much attributed to arrange marriage. Women have less power about a lot of opinions.

2) In some parts of South Asia, dowry and caste system are very much playing its part in rural areas.

3) Less knowledge about your partner might result in awkward bonding in some cases.

Arranged marriage has some interesting facts; it leads to huge amount of endogamy. Marrying someone from other societies is almost non-existent there. Even in US, the amount of interracial marriage among Indiacommunity is much less in comparison to other societies. 86% of Indian people in US are still marrying someone within their community. As I posted my video about marriage pattern among US Americans, you can see that tendencies there.
Arranged marriage also allows a lot of online marital business to boom in India. It has become the life-partner choosing site rather than becoming the dating side. My second video illustrates that situation. This evolution enables the partners to know more about it each other about themselves.


In conclusion, I am neither a supporter nor a hater of arrange marriage. The point is, it will always play a big part in those societies, even though love marriage is socially becoming more accepted in South Asia.

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Migration: A Fascinating Story Of Resocialization

Videographic: Migration

Resocialization is the process in which a particular person of a society has to leave his old role in order to take a new one and readjusting with different norms, values or expectations accordingly. There are many prime examples of resocialization. For example, when a person gets married or become a parent, his or her role in the society changes significantly. New set of responsibilities or duties and expectations might arise as well as moral values. However, to me, a fascinating story of resocialization might be the story of migration. As an immigrant in US, this story of migration is even more fascinating for me.

By migrating from one country to another, one person might have to readjust his life style in accordance to his or her new country’s norm and culture. How come it changes somebody’s lifestyle? I would use my story as an example. I came to United States from Bangladesh back in October, 2009. Back in my country and in most of the South Asian countries in general, life style is hugely different. I completed my high school education back in my country. As a student, all I have to do back then is study and study. I don’t really have to worry about my earnings and all of those financial stuffs, as my father was ensuring that particular sector. However, since my whole family migrated to New York, things have been very different. My parents find it very hard to find a work, and I have to take a lot of financial responsibilities on my shoulders. The tuition fee and the cost of living are astronomically high in this country. Moreover, most of the middle class families from my homeland have to come in this country and start a humble beginning. Their financial situation is not necessarily good at the beginning. So far, I have taken my responsibilities well; I am doing a job and also attending Baruch College. Thus, I am becoming the driving force of my family and I am supporting my parents financially as well. If somebody compares the current situations with my previous one, it has drastically changed.  I used to be a very irresponsible, lazy person who only used to take care of his homework and now here I am, becoming one of the most responsible persons among my family members. There are thousands of other examples like that, one have to look at those in order to study those.

The video that I posted from the magazine called ‘The Economist’, gives us a glimpse about the migration statistics and how it is changing the demographics in different continents. It also talks about a very important aspect, the remittance that people are sending in their countries. Since I came to this country, I have sent some remittance once in my country. I would probably look at myself and I can’t deny how migration has played its part in resocialzing me.

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Capitalism, Needs A Reform ???

Capitalism Collapse? ‘Cash grab system cannot survive storm’

As we see the video in our class known as, ‘Is Walmart Good For America?’, I was wondering who might be the biggest culprit for the weakening of American economy. American economy was unmatched and unrivaled back in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. However, things are gradually changing and America has a huge competitor in the shape of China. America’s economy is also not in the strongest shape like it was used to be. A lot of expert opinions are blaming big corporations like Walmart and others for outsourcing way too much job to low-wage countries and thus creating this problem. However, I do think we can’t solely blame companies like Walmart for this downfall.

Most of the richest nations around the world have been built with capitalist economic system. It has been very successful for the last one or two centuries. United States is not exceptional in this case; it has embraced capitalism since its introduction. Capitalism might be hugely successful in recent history, but I think that this system has its flaws as well. There are some basic theories about the modern capitalism. United States has become a huge example of corporate capitalism. Some of the characteristics of capitalism that is hurting United States in my opinion is:
1) Capitalism encourages and absolute proliferation of profit, especially corporate capitalism. Thus the system itself creates an atmosphere for the business institutions to be greedy.
2) In a lot of cases, government don’t intervene about the price regulations in a lot of different sectors (specially in retail sector) of business, thus it gives an opportunity to maintain the flow of the market with freedom which might creates monopoly in some business sectors. Walmart always have an opportunity to set their price in a record low level and driving their competitors out of business.
3) Most of the developed countries have gradually improved their standard of living to come to this position. In the process, normally inflation occurs in this country, thus driving the wage of workers high. Comparing the national annual income, US (44000 $) is much higher compared to China (almost 8000$).
4) Capitalism also believes in cheap labor theory (at least in modern day) in order to maximize profit. Thus, a lot of jobs have become easy picking for foreign countries.

I have put a video, where a senior sociology scholar named Emmanuel Wallerstein talks about how ‘Capitalism’ itself becomes the problem and how it plays part for orchestrating a worldwide recession. Personally, I do think that capitalism is a very good economic structure. However, I think that it needs some reforms. Some rules and regulations might be changed in order to make this system credible again.  For example, US government can put an minimum price tag for different retail products. Not only it will create a level playing field for different big corporations, but also restrains this destructive practice from big corporations like Walmart to offer cheap products and driving others out of business. Make no mistake about it, big corporations are somewhat responsible for this current situation, but the biggest liability would definitely fall into the shoulders of this overall economic structure.
I would very much like to know what other people are thinking about this issue. I am very much looking forward to your opinion.

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