The incident of violence against women, particularly rape, has increased significantly in the recent months comparing to that of the previous year, a report of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad said today.
About 942 women were raped from January to December last year. But within the last six months of the current year (January to June), the number of rape incident reached 731, the report said.
The total number of violence against women were 3,918 last year, but in the halfway of this year it came to 2,083 which is alarming, it added.
Mahila Parishad, a women’s’ rights organisation, prepared the report based on news published in 14 national dailies in the corresponding months, said the report that was unveiled at a press conference at the organisation’s office in the capital this afternoon.
Of the rape victims, 113 were gang-raped and 26 were murdered after the rape. Besides, at least 123 others were made victim of rape attempt and 70 were harassed sexually, the report found.
It also found more than 276 women were murdered in the last six months, while 117 physically assaulted and 63 were abducted.
The organisation observed that the culture of impunity, which has been continuing in the country over the years, is the reason behind the rise of the rape incident.
“Only three to four percent of culprits have been punished since 2014 for violating women. The culprits are remaining beyond the reach due to such culture of the impunity,” it said.
Speaking at the press conference, Mahila Parishad President Ayesha Khanam said the sudden rise of rape incidents are both surprising and alarming, which will hinder the women’s advancement in the country.
“What did happen in the six months and why increased the rape incidents? It is a matter of research to identify the cause behind the rape,” she said.
About legal proceedings of the rape case, the women’s rights activist said, “In Bangladesh, a woman or girl still needs to prove whether she was raped. But in many other countries, the accused prove whether he is a rapist or not.”
To overcome the current situation, Mahila Parishad demanded ensuring speedy trial of the cases regarding the violence incidents, formulation of a separate act to prevent the rape and the sexual harassment without providing political shelter to the culprits.