Thursday, January 21, 2021 | ePaper

1,086 women, children raped in 10 months: MJF

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Staff Reporter :
Between January and October this year, 1,086 women and children have been raped, of whom 277 were gang-raped, and 50 were killed, and 29 committed suicide.
Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) unveiled the data on Thursday evening during a webinar titled "Grassroots Response to Address Violence Against Women and Girls."
Shaheen Anam, executive director at MJF, conducted the webinar, while Nasima Begum, chairman, National Human Rights Commission was the chief guest, and Judith Herbertson, development director, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Bangladesh, British High Commission, was the special guest.
Dr Abul Hossain, project director, Multi-Sectoral Programme on Violence against Women, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, and Sahely Ferdous, Assistant Inspector General of Police, were also present, among others.
Nasima Begum said, "Different service providers must come forward to fulfill their responsibilities. If zakat is paid to provide employment to the marginalized, the
neglected people of our society will be able to make a quick recovery."
To stop violence against women, men need to work alongside women activists, she added.
Judith Herbertson said, "We consider violence against women and girls as another epidemic, rooted in unequal power sharing between men and women in society.
She continued, "And this discrimination and torture is intensified due to various harmful rules prevailing in the society."
Dr Abul Hossain, said, "If rape victims go to the hospital quickly and save their clothing for sample collection, it should be possible to identify the rapist and bring him under the law within a week."
No witness is required in this case, and it is possible to use science and technology to identify the perpetrators, he added.
Sahely Ferdous said, "Every girl has confessed to being a victim of violence at some point in her life. Boys are also subjected to torture and abuse. If we are able to leverage our respective positions in society to create awareness and stand by those in danger, we will be able to uproot violence from the society."
Sahely continued, "Between January and October this year, we logged around 7,000 phone calls from women on domestic violence, about 3,500 calls on child marriage, 674 calls on eve-teasing, and 14 calls on female trafficking - all via the 999 complaint hotline."
According to a telephone survey conducted by MJF, 37,912 women across the country have been victims of domestic violence during the coronavirus period. Amongst the victims, 16,485 had been victimized for the first time.  
The webinar also featured MJF officials and women and children who had become victims of violence at some time or other.

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