Violence Against Women
Expert Group Meeting
Organized by: UN Division for the Advancement of Women in collaboration with:
Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and World Health Organization (WHO)
11 – 14 April, 2005
Violence against women : A statistical overview, challenges and gaps in data collection and methodology and approaches for overcoming them
Expert paper prepared by:
Sharmeen A. Farouk
Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA)
Violence against women is a common occurrence in most societies whether the violence is physical or mental. In South Asia it is a daily and often deadly fact of life for millions of women and girls. Women and girls are generally looked down upon, trapped within cultural framework, molded by rigid perceptions of patriarchy. As a result violence against women is viewed as a ‘normal’ phenomenon even from the women’s perspective. South Asian women suffer multiple forms of violence including domestic violence, rape, dowry deaths, sexual harassment, suicide, forced marriage, trafficking and other psychological and financial oppression. Violence against women has become one of the most visible social issues in this region.
Violence Against Women in Bangladesh
As a South Asian country, Bangladesh is no different from its neighbors. Violence against women is amongst the most serious threats to overall development and progress in Bangladesh. Widespread violence and repression in numerous forms puts women’s lives at risk in almost all parts of the country. This is further compounded by the gender bias against women in the society. Before discussing the nature and extent of violence against women it is important to focus on the general socio-economic and legal rights of women in Bangladesh.
Socio-economic status of women
Women in Bangladesh are not a