Women main victims of gender-based violence

Udisa Islam
Published : 07:30, Dec 07, 2019 | Updated : 07:30, Dec 07, 2019

Women hold placards and photographs of schoolgirl Nusrat Jahan Rafi at a protest in Dhaka on Apr 12, 2019, following her murder by being set on fire after she had reported a sexual assault. SAZZAD HOSSAIN/File PhotoWomen are the main victims of gender violence in Bangladesh. Civil rights workers feel that while 96 per cent of women are victims of violence, justice still remains elusive.
According to them, both men and women can be victims of violence and therefore, prevention will be challenging.
They fear that violence against men is lower and such events are not recorded or revealed.
A survey by Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha, shows that women are the main victims of violence and the rate is 96 per cent.
Most of the victims are between the ages 19 and 34. A spokesman of Acid Survivors’ Foundation says: “Though acid attacks have reduced during the last decade, gender-based violence has risen.”
A recent survey says that 97.96 per cent women and girl children face at least one experience of sexual harassment at a public place and 59.45 per cent women faced sexual harassment between the ages 11 and 17.
To improve this situation the social perspective on women needs to change and perpetrators need to be tried. Otherwise, incidents of repression will rise.
Gender-based violence includes rape, physical torture, acid attacks, abusive behaviour towards domestic maids, dowry demands and the trafficking of women.
Selina Ahmed of BRAC’s gender, justice and diversity project, adds: “In gender-based violence, both men and women can be victims.”
Director of Ain o Salish Kendra, Shipa Hafeez, observes: “In the last ten years, there have been more than 10 thousand rapes in Bangladesh. Mostly the underprivileged are deprived of justice.”
'These happen within a power structure and both men and women can be victims and we need to talk about prevention, she added.