The honesty of Hugh Reilly’s account of his scary exit from Dhaka (Features, 12 February) was refreshing, and he’s to be commended for pointing out the problems he encountered, rather than repeating the politically correct view that such experiences are always wonderful.
He clearly made good friends among the people he worked with, but his narrow escape points up the insouciance of some of the organisations which promote the invitation of Britons to work in countries like Bangladesh, where, as Hugh points out, society is deeply patriarchal and it appears that militant Islam is gaining influence.
The problem with sending people like Hugh out to work in such cultures is that they are expected, as he points out, to be dishonest about their own cultural norms to have any chance of influencing change.
Change in such societies, as in similar places like Afghanistan, will have to come from within, not imposed from without.
Perhaps we in Scotland would be better to ensure our own house is in good order where education and other social goods are concerned, and then invite people from different cultures to see what we are, hopefully, doing right.
(Dr) Mary Brown