Statistics in yesterday’s daily sun disclosing violence against women across the country in 2018 are absolutely shocking. A total of 3,918 females of all ages fell victim to various forms of violence, including rape, acid attack, assault and killing last year. We can decipher the depth of status of women when a mother of four can be gang-raped reportedly for casting vote for a party of her choice in the general election. We hope that the National Human Rights Commission will investigate the incident as its Chairman declared, if the Election Commission does not. What is worrisome is that these are only the reported or recorded occurrences. So, there could be innumerable unreported or unrecorded incidents, in which case, what we are seeing may be only the tip of the iceberg.
But the point to ponder is why violence against women is rising so steeply, as, by all measures, women are getting more empowered day by day. Where are our policies and implementations of women’s empowerment in the country going wrong? An official of Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) blamed the culture of impunity, political unrest, social degradation, absence of healthy cultural activities, lack of human values, impact of foreign serials and technology for the rise in violence against women. To some extent all these issues are affecting the security of women and men everywhere. So, to secure women as they progress in society, the overall environment has to become more secure for both men and women with adequate legal and administrative support system in place by formation of special tribunals for quick disposal of justice by giving exemplary punishment to all criminals, whosoever they may be.