Policy-based measures sought to combat gender based violence during COVID-19

President of Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) Major General (Retd) ANM Muniruzzaman on Monday recommended counter-measures and new policy formulations necessary to decrease and eradicate gender-based violence.

He emphasised upon the intensity of the issue, the growing propensity and the necessity of adopting countermeasures to put an end to this abhorrent act of aggression.

Muniruzzaman also said the issue has been made worse with the introduction of COVID-19 and the increased problem enlisting pressure upon the concerned actors working towards putting an end to “Gender Based Violence”.

He was addressing the first ever BIPSS Policy Café “Coffee@BIPSS” in a city hotel.

Ayesha Kabir, Consulting Editor, Prothom Alo English, was the guest speaker.

The event comprised of the first of the two dialogues entailing the first ever, newly introduced policy café by BIPSS.

BIPSS President thanked all of the participants and the prestigious guest, Kabir, for being a part of this endeavor.

He also introduced the main crux of the event, gender based violence, talking about the issue and noting that, gender based violence has been an ongoing phenomena almost reaching to a crisis point, spanning from local to International context, with women being the key victims.

Ayesha Kabir expressed concern on the issue that the victims of Gender Based Violence, mostly women, are being subjected to this violence, mostly perpetrated by their close peers.

During the conversation, the guest speaker highlighted the issues entailing and associated with gender based violence, such as loss of employment, work from home, females being associated with the informal job sectors etc.

Ayesha Kabir also mentioned the reality of victims being confined with the perpetrators of the violence, thus resulting in increased cases of gender based violence such as domestic abuse, marital rape etc.

She illuminated upon the major underpinnings of this problem, including but not limited to, social construct, gender roles, cyberbullying and the lack of awareness towards mental health, made far worse by COVID-19.

Ayesha Kabir also noted the surge in increased numbers of child marriages and discriminatory actions towards the minority communities. She also remarked the severity of the problem, and its implications in an international and cross-border context.

She eventually recommended the necessary course of action towards curbing this disturbing malpractice of violence, enlisting the relevant actors towards battling this phenomenon.

Ayesha Kabir talked about the necessity to raise awareness towards eliminating social stigma and helping the victims to come forward and seek further help.

She also suggested other necessary initiatives that need to be taken including legislative actions, promotion of women empowerment, building resilience, engaging actors consisting of local community engagement, Law Enforcement, Stakeholder Participation, for formulation of policies and strategies spanning from an individual to a global Scale.

BIPSS said it will continue to strive to ensure the practice of conducting initiatives like the Policy Café, to bring further attention to such prominent and critical issues, the underlying factors working as a catalyst towards the final culmination of the issue, and the way forward towards a more tolerant society and a better future.

Source: United News of Bangladesh