Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Laila Ashrafun

Laila Ashrafun

Professor of Sociology at Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST), Sylhet, Bangladesh

Dr. Laila Ashrafun is a professor in the department of Sociology at Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST), Sylhet, Bangladesh.

Ashrafun started her career as a lecturer in the department of Sociology at SUST on October 25, 1999, and has been working in the same department since then. Subsequently, she was appointed as an Associate Professor (July 7 2010), and about three years later was promoted to Professor (November 17, 2013). She had served as the head of the department of Sociology from June 8, 2018 to June 7, 2021. She was also an honorary member of the Academic Council, Board of Advanced Studies and Curriculum Development Member, SUST. 

Ashrafun completed her Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) Examinations- both with first class- in 1989 and 1991 respectively. She received her BSS (Hons) and MSS degrees in Sociology- both with first class- from University of Dhaka.

She obtained MPH degree in Public Health (Health Education) from Dhaka University, 1999. She obtained her second MSS in Development Studies from Uppsala University, Sweden (2004). In 2013, Ashrafun received her PhD degree in Sociology from University of Helsinki. Her doctoral dissertation explored “Seeking a Way Out of the Cage: Underprivileged Women and Domestic Violence in Bangladesh”.  Ashrafun attempted to grasp why and how some women become the victims of domestic violence in the changing socio-economic setting of Bangladesh. She explores multiple contexts in which domestic violence occurs by focusing on the everyday experience of women subjected to this violence, and resulted in the book “Women and Domestic Violence in Bangladesh: Seeking A Way Out of the Cage” (Routledge, 2018). 

For the last 23 years, Dr. Ashrafun has been teaching and doing research on human rights, gender and humanitarian issues with graduate and undergraduate students. Dr Ashrafun’s teaching and research bridge the fields of sociology, health, environment, inequality, gender and development. Her work demonstrates the importance of understanding of policies and practice at the intersections of class, caste and gender in everyday social relations in rural and urban spheres, and in the global dynamics of knowledge generation. She has carried out both quantitative and qualitative-ethnographic fieldwork both in rural and urban Bangladesh.

Selected Publications:

  1. Book: Ashrafun, L. (2018). Women and Domestic Violence in Bangladesh: Seeking A Way out of the Cage. Routledge: London & New York
  2. Uddin, M.J., Ashrafun, L, & et.al. (2017). Patient satisfaction with doctors’ care in Bangladesh: A case of government hospital. J Fam Med 4 (6), 1132
  3. Ashrafun, L. (2016). Correlates of Age at First Birth among the Slum Dwellers in Sylhet, Bangladesh. Chinese Journal of Population Resources and Environment (Taylor and Francis), February, 2016.
  4. Ashrafun, L. (2015). Gender-based Violence in Bangladesh: Culture, Development and Changing Contexts. Development Review, vol. 24
  5. Ashrafun, L. (2015). Gender-based Violence in Bangladesh: Culture, Development and Changing Contexts. Development Review- A journal of National Academy for Planning and Development, Vol. 24, June 2015.
  6. Book Review: Ashrafun, L. (2016). The Micro-politics of Microcredit- Gender and Neoliberal Development in Bangladesh by Mohammad Jasim Uddin (Routledge, 2015). Contemporary South Asia (Routledge, March 2016).
  7. Ashrafun, L. & Savaala, M. (2014). Domestic Violence Made Public: A case study of the use of alternative dispute resolution among underprivileged women in Bangladesh. Contemporary South Asia, Vol. 22 (2), Routledge, June 2014.
  8. Book: Ashrafun, L. (2013). Seeking A Way Out of the Cage: Underprivileged Women and Domestic Violence in Bangladesh. The Helsinki University Press, Helsinki, Finland. ISSN 1798-9140, ISBN 978-952-10-7671-8.
  9. Uddin, M.J. & Ashrafun, L. (2011). Daughters of the Dark: A Qualitative Study of Street-based Sex Workers in Bangladesh. Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, Vol. 36, No. 3 Autumn 2011.
  10. Ashrafun, Laila & Uddin, M.J. (2011). Factors Determining Inpatient Satisfaction with Hospital Care in Bangladesh. Asian Social Science. Canadian Center of Science and Education, Vol. 7, No. 6 June 2011.
  11. Uddin, M.J. & Ashrafun, L. (2010). The Dilemma of Politics and Development in Bangladesh. Working Paper No. 10, Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences.
  12. Ashrafun, L. & Uddin, M.J. (2010). Fertility Practices: A Qualitative Study of a Slum in Sylhet, Bangladesh. IUB Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol.8 No1, 2010.
  13. Ashrafun, L. (2008): Effect of Educational Intervention on Some selected aspects of HIV/ AIDS of two Selected Department of Dhaka University. An annotate bibliography, NIPORT Journal, 2008, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  14. Ashrafun, Laila & Uddin, M.J. (2007). Micro-Credit, Women Empowerment and Rural Development in Bangladesh (in Bengali). Palli Unnayan -A Journal of Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development- BARD.
  15. Uddin, M. J. & Ashrafun, Laila (2007). Good Governance and Development: Lessons for Developing Countries. Asian Affairs, July-Sept 2007.
  16. Uddin, M.J. & Ashrafun, L. (2005). Conditional Aid and Good Governance: Exploring the Linkages. BIISS journal, Vol.26, No.1.2005, pp.31-54.
  17. Ashrafun, Laila & Uddin, M. J. (2005): Women, Empowerment and Development. Asian Affairs, January-March 2005.