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Awareness can stop violence against women and children

Published : 25 Dec 2019 09:17 PM | Updated : 05 Sep 2020 07:13 PM

Awareness is the best way to eradicate gender-based violence (GBV) from society in Bangladesh's perspective, experts said.

A recent study revealed that two-thirds of women in Bangladesh, around 66 percent, have been victims of domestic violence- and 72.7 percent of them have never disclosed their experience to others.

Talking to Bangladesh Post several women and gender specialist expressed that gender-based violence is a major problem not only in Bangladesh but around the world. Changing the behaviour of society through awareness programs will help to overcome this problem.

According to the study of a non-governmental organization - Action Aid stated that more than 1200 women and children are sexually abused per year in Bangladesh. Of the total more than 6 hundred are children.

Women and Gender specialist Rehnuma Noor said, “This is a horrible situation. We should wake up for a secure world for women and children. There is no alternative to awareness campaigns.

She also points out that, it is important for women to learn self-defense. it is also important for men. If a man can learn self-defense, he will be able to come forward to help another woman. Women must know how to protect themselves.

"We are working for the same purpose, zero tolerance on GBV" said Sultana Razia, deputy director (planning and evaluation) of the women's department.

“We all want to stop oppression against women. We expect there will be no violence against women in Bangladesh,” she added.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), among married women, 40% in Dhaka and 42% in Matlab of Chadpur district (another area of study) are exposed to physical violence; 37% in Dhaka and 50% in Matlab suffer sexual violence at the hands of their husband. 

During the previous year, while 20% and 24%, respectively, were sexually abused during that period.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) suggests strengthening the health sector in response to Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV), fostering measurements of relevant ministries and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to deliver harmonized and comprehensive services to victims of SGBV.

It also indicates to increase coverage, improve quality, and enhance the sustainability of services (shelter support, counseling, livelihood training for rehabilitation, reference to medical/legal support).

To reduce and respond to gender-based violence is not only vital to the lives and well-being of women and girls, but to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and overall development of the country.

Sheepa Hafiza, former executive director of Ain-O-Shalish Kendra, said that in the last 10 years, more than 10,000 rapes have taken place in Bangladesh. Sometimes victims of rape do not get justice. In most cases, we have seen that the underprivileged are victims of injustice.

She added that the actual picture of rape is not reflected in the statistics. When we see reports in the media, we feel concerned. In most cases, the victim and her family conceal the torture, thinking about reputation of her family.