Through a Facebook page, some young men of Bangladesh started last month campaigning against sexual harassment, and violence, discrimination against women in the country and beyond.
So far, only 94 people liked the page with around 30 people talking about it. The experience is shocking but at the same time very usual for a country like Bangladesh — a men-dominated society — even though it has been run by two women politicians for the last two decades. It’s found that most of the subscribers of the page are women!
Here men behave differently — inside and outside their close circles. And most men are reluctant to talk about protecting or allowing the rights for women as they are not used to see the trend. Their ancestors had been very strict about women’s education, mingling with men, marriage and sharing property — not only in the Muslim communities but also in the Hindus. The Christians, Buddhists and the indigenous communities have been liberal ever since.
Even though the women are now getting more scopes for education and work, the rate of attacks on them is rising fast. It seems that some men are not willing to see women outside. In terms of delivering such fatwa, the Muslims are the key instigators. In a Muslim-majority country like Bangladesh where more than half of the population is illiterate, it is obvious that we have to work hard.
Primarily, our main target is the educated people who use Facebook and Twitter — which could be 10% of the total population with mostly women. Even many men have opened fake accounts using names and photos of women to attract others… It has been a vicious cycle of unscrupulous people engaged in sexual harassment and carrying forward the porn industry.
Even though almost every family has females, the men are damn care while harassing the women outside. They are outrageous as the law enforcers are reluctant to act fast and strict in such cases.
There are also millions of people who blame women for provoking men to harass or rape them.
I recently posted a status telling the men not to rape and to aware other men around them about it. Two of my colleagues at the newspaper office commented that the girls should behave themselves, otherwise they might face such problems over and over again.
I replied: “If you face so much problems seeing girls with attractive dresses, please go to the toilet and masturbate.”
I also asked them why girls aged below eight are raped, whether their dress provoked those men!
They kept mum.
We have to strike these men this way, straight, immediately; so that they become afraid of behaving rude, at least in public.
We, the men who do not harass women, have to be united so that we can press home formulate stricter laws to protect the women from further degraded environment.
Still I am optimistic that things would change, though it may take several decades to see a favourable advancement.