In his early twenties, and fresh out of Dhaka University, Shafiqual Haque Choudhury witnessed the devastation to his country caused by the brutal Bangladesh war of independence in 1971. Food supplies to the villages had been badly hit, starvation was rife and poverty was uppermost. He was a principled and compassionate figure and an early objective was to return a sense of pride to the rural communities, particularly to the lives of women. Traditionally they lived under a patriarchal society, reluctant to go to work and travel outside of the community on their own.

It was Shafiq’s intention in the 1970s to empower women and bring attention to their civil rights. In many cases they were legally allowed to work and travel independently but tradition

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