Repression on womenOf late, the newspapers are filled with news items of torture and repression on women. From abduction to rape the members of fair sex across the country are made victims of aggression. However, women under threat is not a new phenomenon in our country. For ages, they have been forced to submit to unjust demands made by society and as the list of unfair social obligations increased their own safety was jeopardised. As a result, the status of women in society was gradually demoted to such an extent that heinous acts of human rights violation began to be perpetrated against them
This ill treatment towards woman has come to such a diabolical stage that we are now faced with reports of rape, physical abuse and acid violence everyday. Just a few days ago, a young marriageable girl taken out of her house under the pretext of seeing a possible bridegroom was raped by her own uncle. In rural areas young housewives are often becoming victims of gang rape and if a woman refuses to make a compromise with unjust demands then, she either faces acid violence or physical torture
With such a lamentable situation facing women, we find that in Narsingdi women repression covering acid violence, beating for dowry, trafficking and forced prostitution is on the rise.
Statistics tell us that between January and March this year 25 repression cases occurred in the district, but before we express shock at that number we must realise that almost half of the women repression cases are never reported in fear of social stigma and humiliation.
In many cases, the law enforcers are informed but unfortunately we see that the police do not take a case when pressure comes from the rapist's influential political backing. Then in some cases we see village salish boards punishing both the victim and the criminal. And, in the end we see that women seldom get justice for an act of crime committed against them. Beating and even killing for the realisation of dowry has seen a sharp rise in the last couple of years and it is an irony that with so many human rights groups operating such reprehensible events should take place.
Frankly speaking, the overall situation of women is a vulnerable one. NGO's and human rights organisations are making a lot of promises but in the implementation stage the results are absent. As crime against women becomes more depraved in nature, the society as a whole just sits back, make expressions of horror and eventually adopts itself with the new trends of human rights violations. This permissiveness actually works as a stimulant for the criminals and exemplary punishment is necessary to reverse the trend. The authorities should deal with a few cases with marked strictness to ensure that violence against women do not multiply without fear of a reprisal.
(Source: The Independent, Editorial, October 27, 2003)
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