As high as 65 percent of women, surveyed in the country recently, have expressed the view that they thought police would blame them rather than the perpetrators in cases they fell victims to violence.
And 57 percent of them felt that if complains are made the crime would not be taken seriously.
The survey report on violence against women and girls in urban settings 'Whose City' conducted by ActionAid revealed the shocking information at a launching programme on Thursday in the CIRDAP auditorium of the city.
"Women in Bangladesh feel unsafe and are concerned about the implications of reporting any crimes, evidenced by the reluctance among surveyed to go to the police to report a crime. Some 65 percent women felt the police would blame them rather than the perpetrators, and 57 percent felt the crime would not be taken seriously while the rate of violence is found 54.7 percent," the report said.
The study presents the results of an evaluation of women's safety in urban spaces of Bangladesh, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Liberia, Nepal Nigera, Senegal, South Africa, and Zimbabwe taking five indicators into consideration violence against women, legal assistance to fight against violence, women friendliness in budget, women friendly urban cities, safety in public transports. Bangladesh scored zero on two - women friendly urban cities and safety in public transports among the five criteria.
"Bangladesh ranks 6th among the countries studied, with a D-grade and 39.32 among the ten while the war-torn Congo too occupied the same ranking. Nepal, Nigeria, Jordan, Brazil and Zimbabwe fare well than Bangladesh in women safety and empowerment issues.”
The indicators signify that Bangladesh is one of the worst country for not have women safety in urban spaces that indicates about the inadequate implementation of law, lack of gender friendly urban planning and restricted transport system for women and girls," the report explained.
Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh Farah Kabir delivered the welcome speech while Programme Manager Kashfia Feroz presented the report findings.
Referring to the law, the report said "Bangladesh has law on the issue of violence against women. But the country has no specific laws related to femicide, though there are no specific laws to address sexual harassment in public spaces."
In the transport sector, it showed that though millions of people use public transport every day, 49 percent of women do not feel safe on the street or when using public transport while 48 percent feel unsafe when they try to access to a public services.
Stressing on awareness building from the community level, State minister for women, and child affairs Meher Afrose Chumki said as chief guest that we have lack of women friendly environment everywhere, so it will take some time to balance. It is not possible to balance in a night.
Professor of the department of Law of DU Dr. Shahnaz Huda and General Secretary of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad Maleka Banu discussed on legal framework and budget allocation respectively while Professor of Urban Planning of Jahangirnagar University Dr. Aktar Mahmud and Secretary BRTA Muhammad Showka Ali discussed urban planning, which includes gender perspective and transportation plan through gender perspective.
Director of Dhaka Metropoliton Ansar, Hira Miah and Commander of Rapid Action Battalion Muhammad Mufti Mahmud Khan were present in the programme.