Sexual violence as rampant as ever
A recent study -- conducted mostly on public university students -- found that more than half of the male students (58 percent) believe that making sexist jokes or comments about women's body is not a serious matter to be concerned about.
Around 93.5 percent of the survey respondents said women are more prone to face sexual violence in Bangladesh, and 92 percent said they know at least a friend or acquaintance who faced some form of sexual harassment.
Khandaker Farzana Rahman, associate professor and chairperson of Dhaka University's criminology department, shared the findings of her study, titled "Sexual Violence against Women (Rape): Involvement of the Young Generation", at a press conference organised by Bangladesh Mahila Parishad at Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday.
The conference was organised as part of observing the global "16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)" campaign in 2022, from today (November 25) till December 10, which is World Human Rights Day.
According to the study, 99.2 percent of respondents believe that those who have a strong political and socio-economic background get away with such crimes.
Around 74 percent of the respondents said they do not have faith in the competence of law enforcers in terms of dealing with sexual violence cases.
Of the 384 respondents, 177 said they have faced sexual harassment in public spaces and public transport.
As part of the campaign, leading rights body Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) made an 11-point demand to end violence against women and ensure justice.
The campaign was also launched in Cox's Bazar yesterday -- with a public march, rally and photography exhibition at Laboni Beach -- by UNFPA, UNHCR and a few other UN agencies.
This year's global theme "UNITE! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls" has ambitious goals of uniting governments, development and humanitarian actors, civil society, women's organisations, youths, private sector, media and all UN agencies to join forces to address gender-based violence.