Speakers demanded to take necessary steps to end violence against women in a discussion meeting held today (9 December 2021) in the Civic Center in the city. VOICE has been consecutively taking part in the Global 16 Days Campaign from 25 November-10 December 2021 with the support of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). It observes this campaign as part of a global international initiative for the elimination of violence against women through different sets of activities for the 16 days period. It believes that gender equality and the eradication of gender-based violence are required for resilience. As part of the series of events both online and offline, VOICE organized the discussion meeting on “Gender-Based Violence in Bangladesh and Building Resilience”.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, the Executive Director of VOICE puts light on the fact that women and girls particularly in remote areas are often deprived of opportunities for education, employment, ownership of assets and property and are treated as subordinate to men. He added about the rapid increase of the incidents of violence against women particularly against domestic housemaids at home and outside during Covid-19.
Zayed Siddiki, the Project Coordinator of VOICE states that women in these areas are often excluded from decision-making in the household and rarely participate in community decision-making. He also talks about online violence commonly known as electronic violence against women that causes mental, emotional, or psychological distress to the woman.
Nahian Ahmed Nayna said that this social and gender discrimination creates an environment where violence against women occurs and is tolerated. She further adds that the effects of gender-based violence restrict women’s freedoms and participation in society.
Findings show that 46 women among the 1249 incidents passed away due to rape and 286 got badly injured in 2021. Speakers in the meeting urged to build resilience for ending violence against women in every sector empowering women and emphasized that men and women need to work together to change the situation and to ensure the domestic workers in the informal sector in particular.
Among others, civil society members, NGOs representatives, women and youth activists, and journalists were present at the discussion meeting.