Men should consider women as human beings, not objects, said experts at a discussion at the Dhaka Literary Festival (DLF) yesterday.
They also urged the guardians to teach moral education to their children.
They were speaking at a session called “Dharshan -- Pourush er Khamata, Pourush er Akkhamata” (Rape -- Man's power, man's inability) on the last day of DLF on Bangla Academy premises.
Prof Sadeka Halim of Sociology department at Dhaka University said women do not get equal opportunity all over the Indian sub-continent, and Bangladesh is no exception.
“Women have been given a prescribed role to play and people want them to perform that particular role,” she said.
Women rights activist Rita Das Roy said the person who rapes a woman thinks that he has the right to do so. “They do not realise that it is a crime.”
Bina Biswas, a Tagore scholar, said parents should impart the lesson of gender equality to their children from the earliest stage of their lives so that they grow up respecting each other.
Meanwhile, at a different session of the day titled, “Woman, Art and Politics”, discussants also underscored the need for teaching children the notion of gender equality.
Indian actress Nandana Sen, also a child rights activist, said although teaching children about violence against women is a difficult task, they need to be taught in such a way that they care for the sensitive issue.
Bigoa Chual, a writer from Australia, said women have to be vocal about their own rights.
“We have to tell our stories,” she said, adding that the culture of respecting women should be practised in every sector.
Esther Frued, novelist; Sadaf Saaz, director of DLF; and Bee Rowlatt, a broadcast journalist; were also present during the session.