Speakers at a programme on Sunday called for ending all forms of violence against women and girls to ensure justice throughout the country.
They also said that it is necessary to raise social awareness and change mindset towards women.
The were addressing a discussion arranged by VOICE, a rights-based research advocacy and research organization based in Dhaka, marking the International Women’s Day.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (8 March), “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”, explores the ways in which innovation can work for gender equality, boost investment in gender-responsive social systems, and enhance public services and infrastructure that meet the needs of women and children.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE, said that every year International Women’s Day celebration makes people aware of the great contributions of women to society.
However, it also brings weaknesses of patriarchal notion of a society that makes women suffer a lot keeping them away from decision-making processes.
Ahmed Swapan added that rape and torture become epidemic like coronavirus.
The incidents of violence against
women have increased alarmingly in 2019 than in the previous year, he said.
In 2018, the cases of child rape were 727 while in 2019 child rape victims were 815. The number of women raped in 2018 was 3900 while in 2019 the figure stood at 5400. The number of children and women who died after rape was 35 in 2018 and it rose to 38 in 2019. And the number of kidnapped children and women in 2018 was 3731 while it was 4276 in 2019.
Among others, woman entrepreneur Farida Akter Kalpana, youth activist Afsana Jui, poet Rahman Henry, writer Shamsuddoha Shoaib, TSP’s executive director Shafiur Rahman, Darpan’s executive director Mahbub Morshed, ALRD coordinator Masud Khan and entrepreneur Mojibur Rahman Shyamol spoke.