Understanding the local narrative on gender violence and sensitivity
Many of us think gender violence as a form of ‘torture’ by patriarchal society towards women. This was the narratives in the eighties, but later on, the concept has changed a lot. In the development sector, ‘gender’ is a necessary or special initiative for the equality of men and women. While men and women in our society are working in equal measure for the cause of national development, and above all sharing responsibilities through mutual respect and cooperation, the cause of gender is also succeeding immediately. For the shake of need, considering the situation for strategic reasons and for the overall development of women towards men; On the other hand, the initiative of women towards men to create a conducive environment for cooperation and empathy is basically termed as ‘gender’ in the development world.
In the fiftieth anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence and as a result of various government and non-government initiatives, women are advancing in almost all spheres today. Although women have made exemplary contributions to education, health, economics, rights and freedom of expression, violence against women is still rampant. Worldwide campaigns, protests, rallies, round table meetings, human chain programs, etc. are orchrestating to prevent violence against women. Year after year, the program continues to be observed according to its own rules, but a special powerful group continues to establish their masculine behavior in a sophisticated manner. Not only on paper but in the people’s mind, there is a negative belief that ‘Women are neglected-abused-deprived’, etc!Whatever the reality, the image is permanently stuck just because women are not given full respect as ‘human being’. This obstacle to the development of women is not only hampering their mobility but also holding back a nation.
In the patriarchal society of Bangladesh too, until a girl becomes a ‘woman’, guidelines are laid down for her movements, expression of opinion and even for all her desires and reluctances. At least one-third of women in almost every country in the world are victims of violence, according to UN agencies. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 80 percent of the healthcare workers in Bangladesh, especially the maids, are women. But their recognition does not match, not at all! After talking about the development of women, when a negotiator becomes a catalyst of physical and domestic violence against his wife, the issue becomes very provocative! According to various newspapers, from March 2020 to September 2021, there were more than 500 raped and more than 800 cases were of domestic violence in the country, despite the horrors of COVID-19. Also, the number of unpublished events can only be understood by guessing. Surprisingly, most of the rapes and other incidents of violence against women are being perpetrated by close relatives. In other words, women are not safe anywhere at all. The evil influence of this strict masculinity and the separating floor of religious discipline is crushing women at every moment! However, in every religion there is a clear call for respect for women. Bangladesh, like the rest of the world, has organized a variety of programs from November 25 to December 10 to prevent violence against women and establish human rights. In this context, the UN Secretary-General said, “Unless women are able to move freely and fearlessly, as long as they are concerned about women’s safety and violence, the world will not be proud of women’s equality.” People from all occupations, regardless of race, religion, or gender, are called upon to speak out on behalf of women who have been tortured, are being, or have survived!
To protest the violence against women is not an easy task! Since in a patriarchal society, men have almost all the power, it is very important to change the attitude of men. Men must come forward to establish women’s rights. They need to create a conducive environment for families, schools, workplaces, cities, ports, vehicles, and even various service organizations. Proper implementation and enforcement of the law is very important. We need to ensure that a woman has access to the necessary legal and medical assistance if they become a victim by a perpetrator. Discrimination against women will continue if the society does not deeply realize this humanity, which is the same entity.
And this work has to start from the very beginning, from the family. So let’s all stand up against violence. We resist the oppression of women by putting our legs on their shoes. The above actions are absolutely of human being! It is the responsibility and duty of all of us, especially of men, to respect womenconsider them equal ‘human beings’. We resist the harassment of women by shouting from their respective places. There has been a lot of discussion about gender violence! Awareness has also increased among people, but later on, more severe issues like rape of women and children undo the development! While many have openly told the story of their rape on condition of obscurity, most people do not want to take it seriously. Many are heard whispering or shouting in various discussions, “It’s time to shed light on the issue of anti-rape talks.” When most of the cases of violence against women in the court are covered up as lies, fabrications! In this case, women spend their days wrapped in a blanket of helplessness and shame. Even though they are victims of inhuman torture, there is no environment to say about their pain! So, they just tolerate the torturevery silently in this patriarchal society! On the day when the victims of inhuman torture will protest together, mass people will moke at the male society!
For the relevant cause and for the fear of public embarrassment, the ‘female’ are alone todayandthey do not feel comfortable sharing an incident with any close friend! There are various alliances of women in the fight against violence against women, there is a storm of discussion on talk shows, but at that time, the oppressed women are hiding, weeping and crying! The unanimous cooperation of all is essential for the elimination of such irregularities, injustices and inequalities. So I am drawing everyone’s attention, ‘Let everyone be gender sensitive from their respective positions to eradicate gender violence irrespective of race-religion-gender-caste!!!’
The writer is a coordinator of Advocacy and Social Accountability at World Vision.