View Exchange Meeting on Prevention of Sexual Harassment in Universities and Other Educational Institutions

On 20 February 2024, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) organized a view exchange meeting on the prevention of sexual harassment in universities and other educational institutions with the honorable members of the National Committee to Resist Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) and Social Anomy. The meeting was chaired by Barrister M. Amir-ul-Islam, the Chairperson of the National Committee to Resist Violence against Women and Girls and Social Anomy. Dr. Fauzia Moslem, the convener of the National Committee and the President of BMP spoke at the meeting. The honorable members, rights activists, lawyers, teachers, and different professionals were present in the meeting.
Barrister M. Amir-ul-Islam in his speech gave importance on the implementation of the principles of equality, human dignity, and social justice which were enshrined in the Proclamation of Independence, 1971. He said that the new generation should raise their voices against VAWG and social injustices taking place every day. He suggested that there should be committees to prevent and monitor incidents of sexual harassment in the grassroots level.

Dr. Fauzia Moslem in her written statement said that despite different activities, including awareness-raising initiatives, effective role to stop sexual harassment was not visible. She presented limitations and hindrances on the way to form effective social resistance movement against VAWG and Social Anomy. She added that only a social movement against violence against women and girls can help societies and institutions to prevent such incidents.

The speakers alleged that anti-harassment committees were not carrying out female students’ responsibilities properly in educational institutions, resulting in continuous violence against women in universities across the country. They mentioned, though the honorable High Court Division ordered to form a complaint committee at every educational institution and workplace to deal with complaint about sexual harassment in 2009, non-cooperative attitude of the administration hampered the independent functioning of these committees. They said that policies should be made regarding the use of digital platforms and media should be more active in publishing news to create awareness about the issue. They suggested that violence against women and girl children must be stopped for the sake of ensuring sustainable development of the country.

Among the National Committee members, Mofidul Hoque, trustee of Liberation War Museum, Senior Advocate SMA Sabur, Barrister Tania Amir, Barrister AK Rashedul Haque, Eminent Journalist Bashudeb Dhar, Fuad Chowdhury, Professor Dr. Chandranath Poddar, Professor Dr. Mainul Islam, Professor Dr. Kaberi Gayen, Taslima Yasmin, Teachers of Dhaka University, social activist Shekhor Dutt. were present and spoke at the meeting. BMP’s General Secretary Maleka Banu, Joint General-Secretary Shima Moslem and Adv. Masuda Rehana Begum, Other leaders of the Central Committee, and Journalists from print and electric media were also present in the meeting. The program was facilitated by Adv. Ram Lal Raha.

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