Camilla is undertaking this internship to examine how Rohingya Imams can be collaborated to improve issues of gender equity. This role is a continuation of research she has already completed on potential avenues to achieve long-standing change in gender norms for Rohingya women, particularly in regard to improving issues surrounding the practice of purdah – a cultural/religious practice that enforces women’s seclusion. In a patriarchal context, sensitizing males and husbands to inclusive gender roles is crucial when NGOs are attempting to implement structural improvements for women. Rohingya imams are best placed to incite changes in men’s attitudes, as they are considered an important source of truth in the community and have even proven themselves to be fruitful allies with INGOs on similar initiatives. While some imams are noted to promote misogynistic practices and values, this rhetoric could be subject to change if INGOs collaborate with the imams through the lens of Islam. During this internship, Camilla is hoping to better explore how Rohingya imams can function as positive facilitators to overcome gender inequities and support women’s capacity to obtain greater autonomy.
MTS Candidate at Harvard University
WAPPP Intern, Cultural Bridge
Oxfam; UN Women; Gender Hub; Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh