A daylong event– Solution Fair– was arranged on the CIRDAP premises in the capital on Sunday as part of the globally celebrated 16 Days of Activism Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence. The campaign began on Sunday with a call to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
The event was arranged with the support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The program was taken in a bid to address the soaring cases of violence against women in Bangladesh along with the responses undertaken by the government, different UN agencies, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders. State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki attended the function as the chief guest and inaugurated the Solution Fair. Secretary of the ministry Nasima Begum and UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bangladesh Mia Seppo joined the event as special guests.
The participating organizations include Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), ActionAid Bangladesh, Bangladesh Legal Aid And Services Trust (BLAST), Center for Men and Masculinities Studies (CMMS), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), Joyeeta, Multi-sectoral Project on Violence Against Women, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), UN Women, Unite for Body Rights Alliance, Nirapod, AdoHearts, and other partners of the Kingdom of Netherlands, delineated their responses to gender based violence against women and girls in Bangladesh through the medium of innovative stalls and installations.
By bringing the field actions to one location, stalls in the fair illustrated the respective organizations’ different mechanisms to prevent violence against women and girls in Bangladesh along with the response infrastructures built to support the survivors of gender based violence.
Visitors at the fair had an opportunity to efficiently engage with and learn about the work of different UN agencies, their partners, INGOs/NGOs and the government on the prevention of gender based violence in the country.
According to the VAW survey 2015 conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), three out of four ever-married women in Bangladesh (73%) experienced some form of violence by their husbands. Among those women and girls, only 2.6% took legal actions due to a fear that their dignity, privacy, confidentiality, safety, security and protection from harm or retribution.
In recent years, voices of survivors and activists have addressed through different campaigns. UN along with Government, INGOs and NGOs is working to prevent violence against women and spawned many solutions and support mechanisms for the survivors.
With the theme ‘Orange the World: #HearMeToo’, the ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ campaign will end on December 10, the day of International Human Rights Day.