Nusrat Jahan Rafi is a prime and tragic example of a girl, who spoke up against gender-based violence and met with even more violence, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo said yesterday.
She was addressing the launching ceremony of State of World Population 2019, the annual flagship report by the United Nations Population Fund.
Bangladesh still lacks the initiatives to monitor the implementation of laws penalising violence against women and girls.
An Alim examinee, Nusrat was burnt to death allegedly for refusing to withdraw a sexual harassment case against her teacher. She died at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital on April 10.
Referring to the tragedy, Mia said there should to be systems in place to protect women and girls from sexual harassment and assault.
“When prevention fails, perpetrators must be held to account and those who speak up must be protected against retaliation. Without this, equality cannot be achieved,” she said.
“Not only is this unacceptable but such violence against women should not continue. There must be justice for Nusrat. And it must go further than that. We owe this to Nusrat and every other woman or girl who faces such unimaginable violence.”
Yesterday’s report said an estimated 72.6 percent of women had experienced any types of violence by their intimate partners in their lifetime.
State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Murad Hassan expressed firm determination that the murderers of Nusrat would be punished.