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20 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Gender violence

Gender violence

Almost every day, there are reports of women and girls being attacked by sexual predators or men who resort to violence after being rejected. Every year, in hundreds of incidents across the country, a woman is violently attacked often by family members because she dared to make a decision regarding her own life. The more gruesome and shocking cases get reported in the media but little in the way of change in our mindsets towards such horrors ever takes place.

Unfortunately there are reports of lackadaisical attitude by the law enforcers most of the time. It is hardly a state secret that most cases of molestations and violence against women go unreported. Prosecution rates for domestic violence and sexual offences are low, with women frequently too afraid to report the crimes or being intimidated into withdrawing complaints.

It is crucial to collectively curb this menace through legislation and strengthened institutional defence mechanisms for victims and their access to justice, another issue that needs to be focused upon is the slow pace of women’s empowerment. Violence against women is both a cause and a result of their disempowerment. Economic independence, freedom to choose one’s career, and the right to manage one’s earnings are key factors in women’s empowerment. In all these areas, the authorities are yet to go for all out affirmative action.

Instances of invisible violence also cause great havoc. Some of the more common forms of non-cognisable violence are: preventing girls from acquiring education, especially of their choice; destruction of girls’ schools; restrictions on women’s mobility; denial of jobs on merit and equal wage for equal work; child marriages and forced marriages. The issue of violence against women is still treated here largely in terms of the losses and suffering caused to the victims and their families whereas the loss to the community should be given equal, if not more, importance.

Law enforcement and political leaders must lead campaigns to promote gender equality, and that means not tolerating age-old clichés that women are the weaker sex, and must dress conservatively and not go out past sundown to avoid being victimised. That anachronism is hardly befitting a nation with aspirations to become a developed country in the near future.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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