Maleka, 40

Kochkhali Char

Maleka’s Story

Maleka is 40 years old. It wasn’t until she attended one of Friendship’s Char Theatre initiatives that she became fully aware of the negative impacts dowry practices have on women in Bangladesh such as harassment, domestic abuse and even suicide. As a consequence she chose to reject a marriage proposal made to her son when he was offered money as a dowry in exchange for a young wife. Maleka is keen to see the practice stop in her community.


“I didn’t realise that the exchange of dowry is actually illegal and that it’s a punishable offense. I won’t be taking or giving a dowry for any of my children’s marriages. It was quite eye opening to see what the theatre sessions had to say on the topic. Now I try to do my bit…small as it may be…to discourage people in our community after seeing the type of disruption it can cause or I tell them they should see one of the shows”.

Who we fund

Although it is illegal to request a dowry in Bangladesh, (the practice of demanding property or money from a bride’s family) it is still a tradition that is deeply-rooted and widely practiced today, claiming lives and creating victims of domestic abuse. Friendship organizes regular Theatre shows to raise awareness on the topic and teach community members about these harmful, illegal practices as well as their devastating consequences.

Want to donate ?

Help us save lives by raising awareness of these harmful and illegal practices.