International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305

Full Length Research Paper

Female perceptions of health hazards associated with indoor air pollution in Bangladesh

Bijoy Krishna Banik
Department of Sociology (BCSS), University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 July 2010
  •  Published: 30 November 2010


This paper will identify health hazards associated with indoor air pollution (IAP) in Bangladesh. Research into IAP in Bangladesh has been neglected for many decades. This neglect may reflect aspect of the marginalization of women in Bangladeshi society, especially as cooking is considered a social responsibility of women. The main purpose of the paper is to examine the extent to which female domestic cook experience health threats related with cooking environment and to understand their perceptions of the link between IAP exposure and poor health outcomes. One hundred female domestic cook in Rajshahi City, Bangladesh, were interviewed by using a semi-structured questionnaire interview method, educational level, oven and fuel types are used as proxy determinants of class, based on educational level, respondents were categorized into three classes, illiterate, graduate and above and in-between (from level one to level 12). It was found that the higher the educational level the respondents had, the more they were likely to be aware of health effects associated with IAP. The author draws a conclusion that respondents with minimum levels of education, using wood fired mud-ovens, are more likely to be exposed to IAP and, as a consequence, have greater health risks than other women. Finally, it is recommended that fuel efficiency intervention, such as, a pipe line gas supply, is urgently needed to reduce cook-related work loads and, ultimately, improve the health of women, particularly poorer women in Rajshahi city.


Key words: Health hazards, indoor air pollution, women, Bangladesh.