Dispose of cases quickly, protect survivors during trial
Demanding that the cases of violence against women and children be transferred to a speedy trial tribunal, Amrai Pari Paribarik Nirjaton Protirodh Jot (We Can) made a nine-point demand at a conference in the capital yesterday.
The event -- "National Conference Against Violence Against Women 2021" -- was held at the Liberation War Museum in Agargaon.
To stop all forms of violence against women and girls, the organisation demanded that the cases should be disposed of within the stipulated time and the victims and their families must be provided with the required security, medical care and compensation during the trial procedure.
The nine-point demand also included formulating and implementing policies to prevent sexual harassment, as per the directions of the HC, making the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2010 successful and amending all kinds of laws discriminatory to women.
In addition, they also recommended adopting a zero-tolerance policy against rape, sexual violence, abuse of women and children, and suggested introducing special campaigns against abusers.
Demanding a violence-free nation, Shaheen Anam, co-chair of We Can, said in her welcoming speech that even after fifty years of independence, the freedom of the people of Bangladesh has been curtailed by gendered violence.
"The tendency to not accept diversities has led to widespread discrimination and violence, we don't change ourselves, police or law and order alone cannot change anything," she said.
Senior district judge and director (training) at the Judicial Administration Training Institute Md Golam Kibria said defendant women are not treated well in our society, which is why they want to conceal the issue of rape when they become victims of it, often making it too late for them to avail justice.
Stressing on the need for gender sensitivity of investigation officers, he also called for monitoring the effectiveness of laws relating to women and children. He also mentioned that the state must take responsibility for the victims in cases where the convicted is unable to provide compensation to them.
Eminent rights activist and chairperson of the organisation, Sultana Kamal, said women have been empowered but equal status for them is yet to be achieved.
Five "Amrai Pari Changemakers" were also awarded for their work in preventing violence against women at the conference.
Planning Minister MA Mannan urged all to work together to prevent violence against women.
Lawmaker Aroma Dutta, Oxfam's head of Gender Justice and Social Inclusion Mahmuda Sultana, Jahangirnagar University's associate professor Dr Parveen Jolly, and additional chief judicial magistrate Farida Yasmin spoke at the conference, among others.
The session was moderated by We Can chief coordinator Zinat Ara Haque.