On 12th June, 2022, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) organized a protest program against the harassment of a young woman in Dhaka University campus. Dr. Fauzia Moslem, President of BMP chaired the protest programme. Maleka Banu, General Secretary of BMP; Sima Moslem, Joint General Secretary of BMP; Adv. Masuda Rehana Begum, Joint General Secretary of BMP; Rekha Saha, Secretary, Central Legal Aid Sub-Committee; Rabeya Khatun Shanti, Secretary, Movement Sub-Committee; Manju Dhar, Asst. General Secretary, Dhaka City Branch, Dr. Nahid Nabi Lena, Member, Central Legal Aid Sub-Committee; Ram Lal Raha, Senior Advocate; Ridiya Raaka, Student, Women and Gender Studies, Dhaka University; Nirjana Vuiya. Student, Government Eden College delivered speeches.
Speakers at the protest demanded an end to all kinds of harassment and violence against women and girls and exemplary punishment of the person involved in assaulting a woman in front of Sir AF Rahman Hall of the university on her way home from Dhanmondi to Old Dhaka on June 8. Leaders of BMP urged people from all strata to stand united to oppose violence against women. They demanded all the university campuses be brought under CCTV monitoring to stop further incident of harassment of women and violence.
Participating the protest programme, Nirjana Bhuyan, Student, Government Eden College said that as a citizen of this country everyone has his/her right to wear dress according to his/her own choice. She questioned the incumbent so called society and its norms defining the dress code, not according to his/her on choice but dictate by the so called society.
Protesting the harassment of woman in own campus area, Ridiya Raaka, Student, Women and Gender Studies, Dhaka University said that in no circumstance, sexual harassment on women can be tolerated. She reminded the perpetrators of sexual harassment that every person has full control over his/her body and dress. No one should dictate others to wear a fixed dress and everyone should respect others’ body and dress.
Senior Advocate Ram Lal Raha expressed grave concern and grievance over the occurrence of sexual harassment upon woman in an independent country. He demanded that the perpetrators must be brought to book. Exemplary punishment and enactment of proper law should be ensured to prevent further untoward incidents.
Rekha Saha, Secretary, Central Legal Aid Sub-Committee vehemently protested the harassment of woman in Dhaka University campus and expressed grave concern and grievance. In no civilized society such heinous offence of touching personal parts and tiring dress of a woman may be tolerated. No word or no language in the world is enough to express the grievance, anger, hurting our mind. Everyone’s heart is bleeding for occurrence of such uncivilized crime in the highest educational institute. Quoting the Constitution she reminded the perpetrators that all the men and women have equal rights to be enjoyed and everyone is equal before law.
Adv. Masuda Rehana Begum, Joint General Secretary of BMP urged all men and women to mobilize a social movement to prevent, prosecute and punish the molesters. She requested the government to enact strict law to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of sexual harassment. She urged the state to get rid of the vicious circle of inaction of law and unnecessary delay and complexities in the courts hearting the cases of violence against women.
Protesting the harassment of woman Maleka Banu, General Secretary of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, said that in this modern age, women are contributing to develop the country in every sector and their contributions are acknowledged in national and international levels. The state should be vigilant against the fundamentalist groups who are trying to impose unlawful restrictions upon women and harassing the girls and women for their dress. The University administration and the law enforcing agencies should work in collaboration and cooperation to make a full proof secured and safe campus.
Dr. Fauzia Moslem, President of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, said that Bangladesh Mahila Parishad is carrying out various programs to remedy the violence against women. Although the situation in Corona is normal, we are not free from violence against women. Society should be ashamed of those who continue to misbehave with women. If a girl is harassed in an educational institute and campus, it is a sign of grave concern. The University administration should be more vigilant to protect and upheld its glorious history and contribution to all the people of this country in the crisis moments in the past.
At the end of the protest programme, Jona Goswami, Director, Advocacy and Lobby of BMP read out 11 point demands on behalf of BMP.
At the protest programme, Central leaders of BMP, leaders from Dhaka City Branch, organizers from different levels, print and electronic journalists, students and officers were present. Senior Advocate Dipti Shikder, Director, Advocacy and Lobby, conducted the programme.
11 Point Demands on behalf of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad:
- This mobilization strongly protests against the harassment of woman in Dhaka University campus and demands for exemplary punishment of the perpetrator immediately.
- This mobilization demands for stop of all kinds of violence and persecution on women and girls.
- This mobilization strongly demands for making social protest against all kinds of eve teasing, sexual harassment and persecution, rape, gang rape, killing, acid throwing etc.
- This mobilization demands for ensuring security for free movement of women.
- This mobilization calls all countrymen to unite in preventing the violence against women and to build a society free from crime and terrorism in order to establish women’s human rights.
- This mobilization calls for building family values against harassment upon women and to discard the mentality of accusing women for the incidences of rape and sexual harassment.
- This mobilization demands for enactment of separate law upholding the directions of the honorable High Court Division to prevent the eve tease, sexual harassment and violence against women.
- This mobilization demands for the concrete actions enforcing the zero tolerance policy on violence against women.
- This mobilization demands to ensure security for women and girls in all places indoor and outdoor workplaces, roads and transports etc.
- This mobilization calls the mass media and social media to broadcast programs for change all existing negative usage and custom against women.
- This mobilization demands all the universities including Dhaka University to regularly monitor their campuses under close circuit camera.