No room for women?
No room for women?It’s an uphill task for single women, who want to live on their own or with siblings or friends, to find a home in the capital. Almost always, the first criterion to rent a house is that you must have a family. Some house owners would even decline to rent out their houses to young, childless couples.This is discrimination.
But such discrimination is pervasive, so much so that it is all evident in most of the to-let notices across the city.
Not that single girls have no place to live. They do manage to find a room or two for themselves. But when they do, they cannot invite their friends of the opposite sex.
Take Sabnam (her real name withheld), a print media journalist who lives with her siblings in the city. Before she could find one, she spent months looking for a house at Rajabazar, Indira road, Jahanara Garden, Monipuripara and Tejkunipara.
She had to face unwanted questions from house owners such as who would pay the rent — she or her father — or when she would return home at night. These were already embarrassing questions, but she really was floored when one owner told her that he would rent out his house to her family but not if she were a television journalist.
Failing in all her efforts, she was forced to bring her parents to find one for her and her siblings.
But more often than not, owners would not pay attention even if you told them that you would bring your parents from the village. And although some house owners are indeed willing to rent out their houses to single girls, they cannot often do so in the face of objections from other tenants, who have families.
Then there is the mistreatment: many house owners would misbehave if you are late from work or if you invite guests. Not to mention the unjustifiable yearly rent hike and the advance money of even up to three months. Examples of such exploitation and abuse are not a rarity.