Violence against women continues | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 26, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 26, 2015

Editorial

Violence against women continues

Implement a zero-tolerance policy

We are horrified at the news that a housewife from Bhaluka Upazila, Mymensingh was severely injured by her husband for not meeting his repeated demands for dowry. The culprit tried to gouge out her right eye; fortunately, neighbours rescued her and took her to a nearby hospital. But her eye already suffered vitreous hemorrhage and serious damage to its retina which might cost her eyesight forever. 

Despite a number of laws and ordinances criminalising dowry and related violence, this evil practice is still widespread in the country. Ain o Salish Kendra estimates that in the eight months between January and September of this year, 70 women were physically tortured, 129 women were tortured to death, and nine women committed suicide in dowry related cases. Though many such incidents go unreported, the staggering numbers are enough to show how vulnerable our women are to this social vice. 

It often happens that offenders manage to escape the law through various legal loopholes. Sometimes victims also seek solutions outside the court as legal battles cost too much and take too long for them to bear. The criminal justice system should be strengthened to address these gaps and the dowry preventing laws should be applied stringently. In this case, police has arrested the offender and later produced him before Mymensingh Court. We demand exemplary punishment of the perpetrator. The society also has a duty to discourage and prevent the practice of dowry and other patriarchal rituals that impinge on the safety of women in Bangladesh.

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