Some 1,182 incidents of sexual harassments were recorded in the country in the first 10 months of the year (January – October).
Of these, 955 were rapes, 220 were gang rapes and 259 were attempted rapes. In other words, there are about four incidents of rape in a day.
At the same time, about 84% of women in the country have faced sexual harassment in some form or various forms -everywhere from the roads, in or on vehicles, at educational institutions, in the workplace of course and even at home.
The Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) presented this information in a roundtable discussion titled ‘Sexual Harassment in Bangladesh: Current Context and What to Do to Prevent It’.
The figures and statistics presented in the discussion were compiled from different national dailies and online news portals from January to October this year.
BNWLA president Advocate Salma Ali conveyed the information in her presentation at the capital’s National Press Club on Wednesday morning.
She said that at present, violence against women in the country is increasing at an alarming rate in every aspect. Now is the time for women to stand up.
Advocate Jobaida Parveen, general secretary of the BNWLA, said the incidents of rape and violence are on the rise as perpetrators were not brought to justice quickly and exemplary punishments were not ensured. She said the arrest and speedy trial is needed for the perpetrators of all the sexual harassment and violence taking place.
Highlighting the helplessness of women towards sexual harassment, Professor Rasheda Akhter, treasurer of Jahangirnagar University, said that even if women are victims of sexual harassment, they cannot complain for fear of losing their jobs and being socially degraded. In this case, she stressed on keeping a positive attitude towards women.
Zyma Islam, a journalist, said, “Every day we see women being sexually harassed in one way or another at work. It is possible to prevent such incidents if the sexual harassment prevention committee is established and effective in every workplace.
Bablur Rahman, a representative of the Fair War Foundation, said that everyone, regardless of gender, should be vocal. The implementation and monitoring of the existing laws of the country is also very important.
Source: United News of Bangladesh