16 days activism 2022: Youth Dialogue to Prevent Violence Against Women Copy

Led by Noakhali District Commissioner and Superintendent of Police, more than one and a half hundred young people pledged to stand against gender abuse. They have also taken oath not to remain silent if they saw someone being humiliated or harassed in front of their eyes. The oath-taking event was held at the District BRDB Auditorium on Wednesday 30th of November, 2022. On the eve of Global 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, Participatory Research and Action Network-PRAAN and ActionAid Bangladesh with the support of United Nations Population Fund jointly organized a ‘Generation Dialogue’ and oath-taking to prevent violence against women.

At the beginning of the dialogue, the Executive Director of Participatory Research & Action Network-PRAAN, Nurul Alam Masud presented a survey on sexual harassment in Noakhali. Nurul Alam Masud said, one of the reasons behind a crime like sexual harassment is most of us are not able to identify or consider this crime as a crime. Just as men who harass do not think it is a crime, a remarkable number of women also do not recognize this type of unacceptable behavior as a crime. As a result, women often blame themselves for being harassed.

Nurul Alam Masud also said that in the past few months, incidents like sexual harassment, physical attacks, attacks on protestors, rapes and even murders have occurred in Noakhali. All the participants of this survey were women. 57 percent of women who participated in the survey think that violence against women has increased at an alarming rate in Noakhali. About 18 percent of women feel that violence has increased slightly. 15 percent of women did not comment on this question. 87.5 percent of the participants said that the issue of violence against women is serious and requires immediate action to address it.

The participants in the dialogue said that sexual harassment is one of the most discussed and significant social problems in Bangladesh.  Harassment or sexual harassment originates from negative attitudes towards women. Eve teasing or sexual harassment is a criminal or punishable offense under the Prevention of Violence against Women and Children Act 2002. But starting from the streets, educational institutions to workplace, women are not safe from harassment anywhere. As a result, a kind of fear is being developed among women, the fear of being abused which negatively affects their healthy emotional development, creativity, potential and mental health. Many girls drop out of school due to sexual harassment, become victims of child marriage, some of the stop going out of the home and even commit suicide. Protesting this kind of incident many women, or their family members, relatives are being victims of attacks by the perpetrators.

District Superintendent of Police (SP) Md. Shahidul Islam said that the police have taken various initiatives to prevent violence against women. Although there is no dedicated phone number of the police related to the incident, but there is a national 999 service which can be used in such cases. ‘In Noakhali, we are organizing various meetings against eve teasing, drugs and kishore gangs. Any complaints are being dealt with immediately’, he added.


Noakhali District Commissioner Dewan Mahbubur Rahman said that Bangladesh will become a developed country in 2041. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working towards that goal. We need to change our social attitudes to reduce violence against women. There are various prejudices in the society, they need to be changed.

Noakhali district representative of Independent Television Abu Naser Manju, Farian Tahrim and Afrida Jinnurain Urbee lecturer of Economics Department of Noakhali Science and Technology University, District Field officer of UNFPA in Noakhali Sadia Samreen Hridi, Transgender rights activist Samsul Islam Polok, Saiada Islam, Program Officer of Action Aid, Jefferson Chakma, National Program Officer of United Nations Population Fund, Abdul Awal, Chief Executive of Development Agency NRDS, etc. delivered their speech on the event.

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