Nasima (pseudonym), 25, a Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) graduate, was beaten by her husband for wanting to participate in the recently held BCS exam.
The husband, who had been torturing her mentally and physically for the last two years, hit her on the day of the very exam to prevent her from going to the centre.
The incident took place at the victim’s parents’ house and when they tried to stop him, he hit them as well.
At least 197 women were murdered by their husbands in domestic violence incidents between January and October this year, according to data compiled by Ain O Salish Kendra.
All types of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, have increased across the country and worldwide since the outbreak of Covid-19. Experts opined that enactment of a unified law is required to resolve the problems.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women will be observed today across the world under the theme “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”
Cases of violence against women and rape have increased Bangladesh in the fiscal year 2020-21.
According to the annual report of the ministries and departments, 12,660 cases of violence against women were filed in FY 2019-20, which increased to 14,567 in FY 2020-21. Meanwhile, 5,842 rape cases were filed in FY 2019-20 and 7,222 rape cases in FY 2020-21.
Talking to the Bangladesh Post, Dr Fauzia Moslem, president of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, pointed out some of the issues that needs to be addressed promptly.
“The existing laws regarding violence against women and rape must be implemented first. Victim blaming should be stopped and the plaintiff should be exempt from bearing the burden of proof that the accused’s action caused injury to the plaintiff,” she said.
She said that the formulation of a uniform family law is necessary in order to prevent violence against women and children as such a law will address the issues of uniform marriage, divorce registration, maintenance, custody and upbringing, adoption and inheritance properly.
She further said that Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has to be implemented and the justice system has to be made gender-sensitive.
According to a new UN Women report, based on survey data from 13 countries, published on Wednesday, shows that 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman of their acquaintances experienced some form of violence. Only 1 in 10 women said that victims would go to the police for help.
Dr Rasheda Irshad Nasir, Professor and Chairperson at the Department of Sociology of Dhaka University told the Bangladesh Post that this pandemic has created a way for the abusers to torture women.
She said that even before the Covid-19 pandemic, domestic violence, one of the greatest human rights violations, was already one of the major concerns.
“It has increased substantially amid the pandemic. People were confined within the four walls of their home for a long time. Many lost their job; ways of earning livelihoods. This prolonged uncertain period made people frustrated and they vented their frustration by abusing women. This is one of the reasons why violence against women has increased since the outbreak of Covid-19,” she explained.
This day was first observed by women's rights activists as a day against gender-based violence in 1981.
On 7th February 2000, the General Assembly officially designated 25 November as the International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and since then people across the globe observe this day to create public awareness on the issue.