16 Days of Activism campaign launched virtually

Participants in a webinar on Tuesday called upon people from all walks of life to come forward with the government to stop violence against women.

They made the call in a webinar on “Towards Creating a Future without Violence” organized by ActionAid Bangladesh.

They said it is not the sole responsibility of the government to stop the violence against women in the society. So, sincere cooperation and participation of all is needed. Through this webinar, 16 days of Activism Campaign 2020 to End Violence Against Women has been inaugurated.

A survey conducted by ActionAid in 2017 showed that women in Bangladesh feel unsafe and are concerned about the implications of reporting any crime. At least 65% of women surveyed felt the police would blame them rather than the perpetrator and 57% felt that the crime would not be taken seriously.

Another survey conducted in 2018 found that domestic violence is the most prevalent and commonly faced category of Violence against women. Two out of every 3 women to report a case of violence against women has suffered from domestic violence.

M Naseemul Hye, board member of ActionAid International Bangladesh Society (AAIBS), said, “The recent spate of violence against women has shaken our conscience. We hope that such incidents will not happen again in the future”.

While addressing as chief guest, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Md Atiqul Islam said, “We have formed a new committee specialized on women and children in the city corporation. To increase women’s empowerment, we have set aside 20 percent of the total allocation for urban development for women counselors. Besides, we are emphasizing on what else can be done for women and children welfare”.

“By next month an app, ‘Sobai Mile Sobar Dhaka’ will be launched where city dwellers can easily lodge any complaint about the service”, he added.

Ministry of Women and Children Affairs’ (MoWCA) Multi-Sectoral programme on Violence Against Women Project Director Dr Abul Hossain said, “We all need to launch an awareness and advocacy campaign to prevent violence against women. As well as disseminating information to bring our services to the people.”

Khushi Kabir, coordinator of the non-governmental organization Nijera Kori, said, “Everywhere, women have to have their own courage. Women need to understand that it is not the woman’s fault becoming a victim, but the perpetrator is to blame. We need to be united to prevent violence against women by bringing about a change in our thoughts”.

Sifat E-Rabban, ADC (VSC), Women Support and Investigation Division, DMP, Dhaka, said, “The current police administration is very sensitive to stop violence against women. There is a women victim support center run by the women police. Our hotline number has been launched for filing complaints. There is also an app called BD Police Helpline. To prevent harassment of girls in cyberspace, a Facebook page, Police Cyber Support for Women has recently been launched which is also run by women police.”

In her closing remarks, Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, said, “We want no more women to be abused.” She called upon all as well as the corporate sector to come forward to prevent violence against women.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Since 1991, more than 6,000 organizations from approximately 187 countries have participated in the campaign.

Source: United News of Bangladesh