By Jahangir Alam Akash, After some moment whole over the world would be celebrating the International women day on 8th March. This year 2010 is the 100th year of the International day for women. But, still women have been facing great challenge in most of the countries of the world. Many countries of the world have no actual human rights. And the women rights can’t imagine there. Women rights are the human rights.
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable country in the world where there women are passing in very danger situation. Indeed in Bangladesh have gotten two great women leaders Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia who have been governing Bangladesh since 1991. Presently Sheikh Hasina has governing Bangladesh as a Prime Minister. And Begum Zia was a former Prime Minister of Bangladesh. But, yet the women are crying for their rights and security. Though, every day many women’s have been torturing, killings. Violence against women is a common picture in Bangladesh.
Many women in Bangladesh suffer from rape, gang rape, murder, torture and acid throwing. The position of women in Bangladesh is vulnerable. Even though Bangladesh has an elected government, the difficulties facing women haven’t ended. Violence against women is a common feature in Bangladesh, and women face various problems under the system of repression.
The main types of the oppression of women include dowry, trafficking, kidnapping, rape, physical torture and acid throwing. Almost every day, women are victimized by these acts of violence and repression. And domestic violence at the hands of husbands is a very routine practice in Bangladesh.
According to a survey conducted by the Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, at least 937 women were killed during the period from January to October this year. Prominent human rights leader and BMP president, Ayesha Khanam, said that although an elected government is now in power and there are conscious people in the ministry and in parliament, women continue to face violence. (Source: The Daily Star, 12/7/2009)
There is one example of a sensationalistic gang rape case. On Sept. 25, an adolescent was gang raped following her abduction by ten Bangladesh Chhatra League activists while she was returning from a Puja Mandap in the Kolapar subdistrict of the Patuakhali district. Also, on Nov. 8, one Bir Bengal attempted to rape a woman, Jamnua Chakma, age 21, in the Ghilachari army camp in the Naniachar subdistrict of Rangamati. She is wife of Shyamal Kanti Chakma.
In Bangladesh, there are many laws for the protection of women, yet the oppression of women hasn’t lessened. It is hard to imagine that it will be stopped in the near future. What is causing this situation? It is because there is no rule of law and no good governance. Impunity and corruption are very common in Bangladesh, and illegal political interference on behalf of criminals is another reason that women’s persecution continues.
Bangladesh has many laws for the protection of women. For example, the Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act 1933, the Family Court Ordinance, the Cruelty to Women (Deterrent Punishment) Ordinance, the Trafficking in Women and Children Act 1993, the Dowry Prohibition Act, the Prevention of Women and Child Repression Act (2000), etc.
The problem is that every case of oppression of women involves the police, witnesses, lawyers, magistrates or judges, and often doctors. If all the parties involved perform their professional and moral obligation, then the perpetrator will be punished. But, with some exceptions, most of the parties are involved in corruption or are irresponsible. Political pressuring can also hamper the investigation of cases involve women’s repression. Sometimes, to protect themselves, witnesses in the cases will not give truthful statements to the court.
The Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) is a Bangladesh Awami League government-supported human rights organization. According to this organization, during the first six months of this year, 1,479 women were raped. The Minister for Home Affairs Sahara Khatun shared this figure with the national assembly.
According to a monitoring cell at the police headquarters, from January to October 2009, at least 3,413 women were tortured over dowry, 83 women fall victim to torture, 2,336 were abducted, 2,476 were raped, 36 were killed after rape, 33 were injured after rape, and 117 women were killed.
In Bangladesh have no equal rights in practice for women. The women have facing difficulties by various ways. Especially the working women are facing these difficulties like discrimination of wages. According to the daily Star (8-3-2010), Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Executive Director Monira Rahman said, in the last 100 years the world achieved a lot, but it is a matter of regret that violence against women, especially in countries such as Bangladesh, is still widespread. Referring to a WHO study in 2005, she said 57.5 percent of women in Bangladesh are sexually and physically tortured. In reality, the rate is much higher, she said. Monira told, there were 490 incidents of acid throwing in 2002.
Still three accused rapist and provocateurs to death of sensational mass raped and killing case of Mohima. We are hearing from abroad that the family members of Simee have been facing insecurity still. And after happening women persecution our NGO’s starting their activity. But, after some days they turned to back. Then the real problem has starting for a victim family.
We can give an example on Rajufa and Sheulee rape cases. After raped to Sheulee the rapist was murdered to the father of rape victim. And they were started false cases against the relatives of Sheulee. But, no body comes to help of this helpless and oppressed family. In the same situation has going on Rajufa’s family. The Indigenous, Christian and the Hindu women have been insecure more than Muslim women. Many NGO have been working for the rights of women. But, they have no coordination. They have been working for the women rights as for the problem of cover. Never have they wanted to go inside or the root cause of a problem.
In order to prevent violence against women, it is necessary to practice the rule of law, carry out proper and competent investigations, should reduce poverty and all kinds of discrimination (man and women) and implement existing laws protecting women. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure the security of witnesses and victims, and corruption must be fought against during the time from when the case is filed until the trial is finished. And political pressuring must be stopped. To prevent women’s oppression, men must first come forward. The question remains: is the Bangladesh government ready to tackle any and all kinds of violence against women?
The present government has passed one year already. But, they didn’t take any step for the rights of women. Even the women development policy of 1997 hasn’t reinstead. We want to see that, Bangladesh government should take positive step for the empowerment and for the rights of women immediately.
International women’s day and the situation of women in Bangladesh
March 7, 2010 by Euro Bangla for Peace and Human Rights edited by Jahangir Alam Akash