VIOLENCE AGAINST UNDER PRIVILEGED WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES IN BANGLADESH
Keywords:under privileged women and children, VIOLENCE
Violence against under privileged women and children is a common occurrence in most societies whether the violence is physical, psychological, sexual or economic. In Bangladesh it is a daily and often deadly fact of life for millions of women and girl children dwelling in slums of Dhaka city. Their inferior status can be traced to the patriarchal values entrenched in the society which keep women subjugated, assigns them a subordinate and dependent role, and prevents them from accessing power and resources. As a result violence against women and girl children is viewed as a normal phenomenon even from the women’s perspective. Despite constitutional guarantees of gender equality and legislative and other affirmative interventions, the status of slum women and girl children of Dhaka city is on the whole dismal. Almost from womb to tomb they suffer multiple forms of violence including domestic violence, rape, dowry deaths, sexual harassment, suicide, forced marriage, trafficking and other psychological and financial oppressions. Indiscriminate violence in slum is one of the most visible social issues which seriously undermine the overall development and progress in Bangladesh. Concerned Ministries are working in coordination with each other to ensure basic human rights of the marginalized people of the society which very much include the slum dwellers. Dhaka City Corporations, both North and South have development agenda for slums though very inadequate. The NGOs are working hard with specific agenda for the slum people. The patriarchal dominance, poverty, illiteracy, socio-cultural backwardness, religious misinterpretations, superstitions, mistrust, early marriage, polygamy are some of the causes and concerns of violence. Researchers have identified home to be the breeding ground of violence and hence elimination of violence should start from there. The mindset of slum women and girl children are to be changed before everything. They are submissive, shy of and mostly acceptable to violence which is detrimental to elimination process. The awareness campaign to earn their right and the welfare agenda to help them to stand on their own feet must be focused. To change the mindset of the male perpetrators educational programmes must be catered in all institution and in all action plan, the male and the boys must be integrated to form opinion against violence along with people from all walks of life of the community to build a violence free Bangladesh.
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