During the period of my childhood, the total socio-economic and cultural condition of my living society was very inadequate for growing-up an innocent child to a gender-focused individual. In the society, rate of education was very low, practice of family cultural in viewing to women stay behind back footed; overall man-woman relationship was quite discriminated in terms of birth status of ♀/♂-alienated personal and public value-behave- bindings, choice of rights to access-exit etc of man and woman. In my childhood, as I observed, the relationship of my father and mother was not hale and hearty and ever appreciated. My Dad likes to have all services from Mum but very rare desired to serve to Mum. Although they have accomplished their life together at the end. My Mum a Bangali woman never showed any disunion because she has swallow all kinds of yielding, matching, conciliating manner for living with peace as one with all members of the family.
The kinds and the rate of violence of women were different in the houses of my neighbor families and in the then society. Physical and mental torture often held in the public. As result, a long-term psychological impact has created inside me and a lifelong pain for the mothers-sisters I would have been caring until death.
Everybody knows in present world that gender not means a physical discrimination of man and woman rather in greater sense the focal point of gender is the heart of cultural practice between man and woman. In that connection, gender violence was present every time everywhere here in every religion community. Once upon a time, Bangladesh was a part of undivided India sub-continent and ruled by the English for about 200 years. In 1971 Bangladesh became established an independent country in South Asia. The majority citizens in the country are Muslim and rest are Hindu, Buddha, and Christian along with other ethnic minority people living.
The historical background of culture of concerned issue and gender-based violence are different among the Muslim-Hindu and other communities respectively in this region. The center of attention to a woman, the Muslims unquestionably follow according to advice and transcription of their Holy book Quran and the Hindus go behind their thousands years old conventions and traditional social practices on the other hand, the remaining communities’ people are pursue by their own religion’s dictations independently. According to the analysis and sensible manners in the middle of all religion communities in the region regarding the sealed status of women, is not fair, appreciated in connection to equal rights of man-woman.
The Bangladesh is a country of middle-income countries in the world. To protect the women rights in the country, there are huge commitments often coming from the politicians during the period of Election of National Assembly. The party usually forgotten and or fail to notice their much commitment thereafter.
On the other hand, two political big parties whom have been were in government for maximum time since Independence, they virtually represent the power on behalf of rich people and serve the interest of consumerists. There is rare space in consumerism to put into practice humanity, equality, nobility, fair justice, peace and true love between man-woman in the society. Instead of human being, a woman is habitually treated in the society a way to fulfill the thirst of sensual pleasure of man.
The Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition both is Woman at present in the country. Nevertheless, in case of very vital issues of women right (e.g. National women’s policy, equal rights of man and woman to paternal every property of all religion etc.) they often compel to make out the interest of men though both woman leaders becomes aware about where they should focus to. It means men dominating rules and administration strongly exists in every segment of the country.
It should be commit to memory the heroic contributions of millions women during the Liberation War of Bangladesh 41 years ago which is glittering yet. During the wartime, thousands of women became victim of rape in addition to kill by Pakistani army and their Bangladeshi collaborators. Those women desired to enjoy their life without discriminations and the major causes of violation of women’s rights. Unfortunately, in an independent country, rape and killing, acid violence, dowry, abuse, eave teasing, mental, physical and sexual violence take place again and again and the women becomes brutally victim more or less same as before. The dream of women heroes to the attained free country lay into dream yet. Sorry to say, marital rape is present equally among every married literate and illiterate couple in the country. In the existing society, it is strongly screening that men only supposed to bear the absolute sex rights of women’s organs and orgasm. Men and women are taught to react differently to different situations. Women are considered the weaker sex and this knowledge is ingrained in them from a very young age. Women are taught to be passive and keep inside their sex desire. The women also are educated socially to suppress their anger and signs of weakness such as sadness, shame. Guilt and tears are encouraged. Men are taught they are stronger than women and that displaying any weakness is shameful and the society takes enormous procedures to make women dependent. Therefore when a women and or teen aged girls are harassed and victim of any kind of violence, instead of righteous anger, they feel guilty, ashamed and afraid regarding their future days and many of them eventually may take their own lives. The lack of societal and psychological support is a major cause of this.
The most important reason at the back of all kinds of violence occurring all over the country is because no one has faith in the legal system of Bangladesh. There is widespread corruption in the system and law enforcers turn a blind eye while empowered people of the society break the law. This attitude encourages the younger generation to assign crimes, simply because they know they can get away with it as they have a powerful relation with highly influential person any. The overall above situations brings a heartbreaking result in very year in the country that many victim women and teen aged girls commit to suicide. Society has contributed to the way these victims and the person responsible for have reacted to their different situations.
From very childhood, every boys and girls used to grown up culturally and socially based on that attitude. Although, lots of women idol and hero in the total region devoted their creativity, youth and life for equity, fair justice and peace but in the end, the utmost benefits of all their attempts went to men’s lives instead of given that to women and men equally.
Since the born of a new country, an unlock breathing space to corporate-cultural access among the community people. Especially the young people has been stimulated and the own cultural heritage relatively without being seen. But the community and young people who felt pleasure to take on corporate-culture were not rationalized in terms of economically, socially, culturally, academically too. With the growing consumerism seeping into all levels of the society young people are often hurry to achieve their goals overnight and sometimes resort to illegal activities. Even they often thought about women’s body and love all the way through same line as remaining to their previous generation’s consideration.
Once upon a time, the children were receiving formal education in their academic institutions along with receive knowledge about good manners, values and morals. Furthermore, socialization of gender equity, fair justice, reciprocal sharing among man and woman must be taught within the schooling system. To build up the individuals, it is very important to improve their traits such as sympathy, compassion, kindness, generosity and patience. But there is very little respect for students in schools today and teachers often resort to severe and humiliating punishment, both physical and emotional. In some cases there is sexual abuse as well.
The way out of such deep rooted problems may necessitate the prime role of government of the country as well as the people in society to break free from the norms that they have become familiarized to over many years. There must have to open psychological counseling programme for the young along with sex education, primary health care, gender equity and prevailing laws of ensuring women’s rights etc. in the educational institutions and workplaces. The government also must improve their enforcement systems with gender sensitization training and ensure justice for all crimes committed. The society must change their mindset about the roles of men and women and promote gender equity for living together with peace. Societal, legal and psychological support is necessary for both men and women to lead a healthy life and to prevent all categories of violence at all places.
(Pl. consider for publication in Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign advocacy package, in World Pulse’s eMagazine, and presented at key international forums through advocacy partners)
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Ending Gender-Based Violence 2012.