Women Construction Workers in Bangladesh: Health, Wellbeing, and Domestic Abuse during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Suzanne Clisby, Tanzina Choudhury

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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This article draws on in-depth research conducted during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic with a group of 35 women who work as construction labourers in Sylhet, northern Bangladesh. We particularly focus on these women’s narratives of economic crisis, domestic abuse, coercive control and intimate relations during the pandemic. Here, we consider the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2021 particularly affected this group of women participants as they employed survival strategies to support their families through a time of extreme economic and social crisis. A key issue they raised was the negative impact the pandemic has had on their health and wellbeing, particularly exacerbated by an increase in experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV), more commonly termed domestic abuse or domestic violence in the local context. The violence they faced was not necessarily a new experience for many of these women, but it was intensified by pressures brought to bear on interpersonal relations within their household as a result of lack of access to incomes, rising levels of poverty, and the stresses placed on families trying to survive in a time of extreme socio-economic and health insecurity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).


  • women
  • construction workers
  • Bangladesh
  • health
  • wellbeing
  • domestic abuse
  • intimate partner violence
  • COVID-19 pandemic


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