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UN Women’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence

  • Published at 09:00 am November 27th, 2020
Photo: Mika Baumeister

The campaign kicks off on 25November, the international day for the elimination of violence against women

A seminar was hosted by UN Women on November 22, in the capital’s Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. This is an annual international campaign which goes on for 16 days holding dialogues between different members of the civil society and the government. The 16 days of activism formally started on November 25, and will go on till December 10. The main objectives of this dialogue are to raise awareness on the drivers of sexual violence, to properly frame and contextualize the issue and to ensure participation and inclusivity when discussing solutions to address and eliminate the culture of rape among others. 

Many notable members of the society were present in the conference, namely Barrister Sara Hossain, Dr Abdun Noor Tushar, CEO of Nagorik Tv and H.E. Nathalie Chauard, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh and many others. The entire seminar had three separate sessions. There were many issues that were raised by activists, where they have tried to come to a solution to most of them. Issues such as female journalists facing abuse online and other workplaces have come to the spotlight.

One of the panelists Tasaffy Hossain, an activist mentions how important it is to make sure a female child is treated the same way as her male counterpart from an early age, as this moulds a child to perceive everyone equally in the later years of their lives. Changes in the new national curriculum was also another point that was made, so the national text books encouraged gender neutral roles instead of the stereotypical ones which have been used for decades now. 

Usage of simpler language terms while educating the mass population was another concern raised by Shomy Hasan Chowdhury, as most people especially in the rural areas are relatively more difficult to teach about gender equality and the issues of domestic violence. 

There were many recommendations made by the notable panelists on how to educate people on the issues as well as making sure there is accountability of actions no matter who the individual is. A more empathetic behavior from society to the victims of rape and other forms of violence should be institutionalized. 

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