ActionAid Bangladesh 

young woman brutally stripped

EuroPROFEM - The European Men Profeminist Network http://www.europrofem.org 

 

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ActionAid Bangladesh

 

As people around the world saw the dawn of a new millennium with joy, a young couple out together with the same joy in their hearts, had their lives destroyed. In the heart of Dhaka's university area a young woman was brutally stripped of her clothes, assaulted and molested by a bunch of young men, who were just having fun!! They attacked her, tore her clothes off her while her husband watched helplessly, and carried her to the Art Faculty's building where she was further assaulted/molested. The newspapers are sketchy about the details and the details are not important. The fact that this happened is what is important for us.

 

I bring this to your attention because for the past few years  "stripping clothes off a woman" has become a regular feature of  Dhaka's New Year's celebrations. Every 1st January, I open the newspapers only to read about another woman who was attacked and stripped of her garments. 

What kind of men are these? Where are they from? What kind of families do they belong to? Have they no female relatives? Surely they have mothers, sisters, loved ones, daughters?

 

I can not even begin to imagine how she felt and how this will forever taint her life. When something like this happens in the presence of hundreds of people, who stood by and watched this inhumane act, it makes you think about the moral void in this country.

 

She will always look back to that day with fear and no doubt her nightmares will last for many days to come. Even after we have forgotten about it, she will remember.

 

Apparently, a few arrests have been made but I doubt that any worthwhile action will be taken. Men seem to think that stripping a woman is good fun and that they will get away with it. I have very  little faith in our judicial system and somehow these men will slip away. Not so long ago, on another university campus, politically backed goons were raping women left, right and center. They had the audacity to "celebrate" their 100th Rape with sweets, those who refused to 'celebrate' were threatened!!

 

The women who spoke out against the men were harassed, threatened and attacked because they dared to protest. The action taken against those  men is laughable and I won't embarrass myself further by mentioning  how leniently they were dealt with.

I was informed that in Bangladesh a rape victim needs a witness to bring charges against her rapist!

I am filled with awe at the courage of the young woman who was attacked on New Year's eve. She has dared to file a case against those men and has had the strength to face a roomful of unsympathetic observers and speak about her ordeal.

I am sorry to say that in my country we have no respect for women. It's a sad truth but it is a fact. Everyday women and young girls are attacked physically and tortured mentally. A girl can not refuse to marry someone because he throws acid on her, a woman unable to meet dowry demands is burned with acid or strangled to death (suicide?!), a young girl refusing to have an affair has acid thrown on her so that she can be with no other, girls are killed, raped, kidnapped, gang raped, murdered, bought and sold, forced to do the things they don't want to, deprived of any support, help or opportunities. The list is endless and the pain, shame and hopelessness of the situation is unbearable.

 

I hope my sisters across the world will join with me to pray for a world where men don't have the right to do this to a woman. Let's take a minute to think about her and give her our support. 

 

I hope that next year there won't be another...

 

Thank you for listening.

Naheed Kamal

Sponsorship Communications Officer

ActionAid Bangladesh

Hs 41, Rd 8

Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1205

Bangladesh

Ph: 088-02-811763, 811802

Actionaid Bangladesh

http://www3.actionaid.org/bangladesh/ 

 

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ActionAid is an international anti-poverty agency whose aim is to fight poverty worldwide. Formed in 1972, for over 30 years we have been growing and expanding to where we are today - helping over 13 million of the world's poorest and most disadvantaged people in 42 countries worldwide.

In all of our country programmes we work with local partners to make the most of their knowledge and experience.

In December 2003 we established a new head office in Johannesburg, South Africa, and began the process of making all our country programmes equal partners with an equal say on how we operate.

We work with local partners to fight poverty and injustice worldwide, reaching over 13 million of the poorest and most vulnerable people over the last year alone, helping them fight for and gain their rights to food, shelter, work, education, healthcare and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.

http://www.actionaid.org/ 

Actionaid Bangladesh

http://www3.actionaid.org/bangladesh/ 

Actionaid India

http://www.actionaid.org/india/ 

 

 

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