Safe society for women a far cry after 50yrs of independence: speakers
In the 50 years of Bangladesh's independence, those in power have claimed of many developments in the country but they still could not ensure a safe and secure society for women, speakers said at an anti-rape rally yesterday.
Citing data, speakers held the government responsible for the rise of rape incidents in the hills and on plainlands, when the country is celebrating 50 years of its birth.
"Rape is a crime where the criminals, in most cases, are close aides of people in power -- like ruling party men and police. Not only rape, these people are also involved with land grabbing and extortion. These are all linked to power," Anu Muhammad, a professor of Jahangirnagar University and also member secretary of National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports, told at the rally in the capital's Shahbagh.
He said the number of incidents reported in media are only based on the cases filed after the incidents. "The real number of rape incidents are much higher than we get in data," he said.
Under the banner of "Bangladesh against Rape and Impunity" led by different leftist parties and cultural organisations, protests against rape and violence against women have been going across the country since the beginning of October, after the incidents of gang-rape in Noakhali's Begumganj upazila and Sylhet's MC College.
Since then, the platform has been protesting across the country to press home their nine-point demand, including reformation of the Evidence Act, implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) charter, exemplary punishment for those involved in gender-based violence, and an end to repression of women in the hills and on plain land.
Urging the government to take steps to make the country more women-friendly, speakers at the rally demanded speedy trial of rapists and culprits involved in violence against women.
They said most of the victims don't get justice in the long run, mentioning the case of Tufan Sarkar in Bogura where he got bail recently.
Nasir Uddin, central general secretary of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front chaired the session, conducted by Md Foyezullah, central president of Bangladesh Chhatra Union.