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Bangladesh’s Birangona women: ‘Tell the world our story’

(article by Tahmima Anam) Hundreds of thousands of women were raped during Bangladesh’s war of independence. Now they are speaking out in a powerful new play.

A scene from Birangona: Women of War
Defining moment of violence … a scene from Birangona: Women of War © The Guardian

When writer and actor Leesa Gazi was 17, her father told her a story that would leave an indelible mark. He said that after the end of the 1971 war – the war that gave Bangladesh its independence from Pakistan – he crossed paths with a convoy of trucks full of women. These were the women people had been whispering about, the ones captured from their village homes and interred in rape camps, most having witnessed the death of their family members. He saw hundreds and hundreds of them, standing up in those trucks as they were finally freed, and this was one of the abiding images he carried with him as his country took its first steps into nationhood.

Read more : The Guardian, 15/04/2014.

  • Birangona: Women of War is at the Lost theatre, London SW8 until 20 April.

Extra Biragona