Thoughts on Sexual Harassment

Any unwarranted sexual innuendo can be considered sexual harassment or sexual oppression. This can happen from interaction of male to female or female to male. However, in a male-dominated society, women are generally considered to be a victim of sexual harassment or oppression. Without a wonan’s consent, any sexual advances are sexual harassment. I am yet to come across a woman who hasn’t faced sexual harassment in her lifetime. Some decide to disclose this, some don’t. Some even don’t know that this is happening to them. This is because we Bengalis are simple people, and according to the Bengali culture, in the event of a wedding, a sister or the bride’s cousins are supposed to act a little lewd to the groom, and it is considered to be a norm. Thus, we must be careful, starting from home.

A report by the World Health Organization on “Violence Against Women” states that nearly one-third of the world’s women are being subjected to sexual violence. 7 percent of women in the world have been a victim of rape, regardless of their age. Every day sexual assault is happening. People are horrified by the rape, sexual assault and oppression faced by women. Women at the workplace are trying advance in their work, but most women are unable to because of the lecherous behavior of some men. These men look at women in such a way that they think they can bring a woman down by objectifying different parts of her body. They are so depraved that they don’t even care about the age – it doesn’t matter to them if the female is a child or an elderly woman. According to a survey, women aged from three to sixty years have been subjected to sexual harassment. About 84 percent of Bangladesh women are constantly being subjected to sexual harassment. It doesn’t matter if it is in the streets, vehicles, markets or at home – it doesn’t seem to be eliminated anywhere.

Our values seemed to have degraded so much these days that even a two-year-old child is not able to escape from the oppression. There are many examples of sexual harassment. Actress Priyoti has been victim of sexual harassment at the very young age of four years at her own house. Actress Sonam Kapur has been harassed at the age of thirteen at a cinema hall. Tanu died after being tortured and raped in Cumilla. Women are abused more in in public bus or in the crowd. 41% of the women riding on public buses have been subjected to sexual harassment. Last year, a young girl named Zakia Sultana Rupa was was brutally murdered after being raped in a moving bus on the way from Bogra to Mymensingh. This year on 10th February, a 13 year old girl was trapped and raped on the Bhaluka bus of Mymensingh – and everyone was aware of this. Farah, Country Director of ActionAid stated that 48 percent of the women in the country have experienced insults and sexually depraved retorts from drivers and rent collectors. In addition to this, a group of first-grade students of Mohammadpur Pre Parity School and College were subjected to sexual assault in May.

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad said in a press conference that 1,737 women were victims of violence from January to October this year. Last year, the number was 1,453. The latest survey shows that 5.17 percent of the country’s girls are being sexually abused before reaching the age of 10. Various reports show that 36% of the women in the whole world are being physically or sexually harassed. It has been reported by the Onestop Crisis Center (OCC) at Dhaka Medical College Hospital that every day four to five women are being treated for injuries from rape. Every month, fifteen hundred to two hundred women being given treatment for injuries from rape every month. According to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), 554 complaints have been withdrawn in various stations in the capital from January to April of this year.

There is a law related to sexual harassment in the Article 18, but this law has not implemented properly. It is not clear to people that that sexual harassment and oppression is related to bad comments regarding one’s appearances or any unwarranted touch. This is because the oppression starts at home. We are oppressed by sexual harassment or oppression because we do not know the laws.

Science can come off as a curse as much of a blessing as it is. Because of the discovery of the internet, we get the benefits and see positive effects of, but we also see the negative effects of it such as no restriction on pornography on all ages.  As a result, many people cannot control themselves and want to take sexually aggressive action against the female form, regardless of the person being a 2 year old or a 60 year old.

In our country, we have to know the laws related to “sexual harassment and oppression” and increase its awareness. Schools, colleges, universities need to provide education on this topic. The media has to should also promote this awareness. A popular social media campaign with the hashtag #metoo has been done in protest of sexual harassment. All of us should promote this through social media because if this campaign increases, we will all know be aware about sexual harassment and oppression on women.

“Stop sexual harassment

Let’s speak against torture and oppression

And build a true, beautiful, safe society ”

 

Jahanara

Branch Manager

SAJIDA Foundation

Pagla, 9th branch

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