Bangladesh Women Seek Justice
By Mary Ferreira
After filming in India, we hopped on Jet Airways to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Our assignment — to cover a story on sexual harassment, a common phenomenon in this South East Asian country.
I took a big risk on this mission because I didn’t have an entry visa for Bangladesh and was advised to pick it up in New Delhi because approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had not been granted prior to departure from New York to India. Unsure of how this would unfold, I boarded the plane for New Delhi.
Fortunately, the day before we left for Bangladesh, visa approval was granted for cameraman, Joaquim, and me.
As if that wasn’t enough to cause anxiety – the young women who granted us permission to follow their story pulled out at the last moment. A few days earlier, I had a premonition that this might happen and asked the attorney representing the women to find alternative characters. Emran, our local fixer, together with the attorney, found a second character — a young university lecturer — who had an amazing story to tell.
But it didn’t end there. We arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday, checked into a hotel, and immediately met with UN officials for a briefing. They told us that we couldn’t film on Monday due to anticipated political protests. This would cut one day from our 8-day schedule. Needless to say, we accomplished our mission.
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