Bangladeshi women are still being tortured by husbands and their family members in large numbers despite reduction in gender gap through greater educational and employment opportunities of women, says a recent survey.
The year-long study conducted by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) also revealed that different women-centric initiatives undertaken by the state and development agencies for gender equity have kept a negative impact on men turning them more aggressive towards housewives.
The study was unveiled at a seminar titled “Understanding Social Norms Bad Multi-level Drivers of Violence against Women and Girls in Bangladesh: Implications for Prevention and Response” in the capital’s ICDDR’B auditorium on Wednesday.
ICDDR’B senior research officer Aloka Talukderm, senior scientist Ruchira Tabassum Naved, UN women country representative Christine Hunter, advocate Sultana Kamal, Plan International Bangladesh deputy country director Soumya Guha, Farhana Hafiz of BRAC, Nijera Kori cooridinator Khushi Kabir, ManuSher Jonno Foundation executive director Shaheen Anam and journalist Mozammel Haque Babu were present on the occasion.
“Most of the males think that they are being neglected in different progressive activities through promotion of women. They think that they are being discriminated due to the state policy turning them more aggressive towards housewives,” the study said.
The study also revealed that witnessing torture on mothers since childhood, male children too become torturers.Torture on women has transformed its nature from generation to generation.
Being the major bread earner in family, majority of males think it their right to control their wives.
Participants expressed their concern observing women’s lack of awareness regarding legal procedure for justice. Moreover, because of dominative behaviour of males and social and religious customs, majority of women remain silent in face of violence.
The study was conducted during a period from April 2016 to April, this year. Researchers considered outcomes of 40 one-to-one interviews, 11 focus group discussions and 23 intensive interviews conducted in five urban areas of Mymensingh and Dhaka divisions in last one year.
ICDDR, B conducted the survey with the technical support of the Overseas Development Institute of the United Kingdom and the research partnership of the Emory University of the United States of America.