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Child marriage almost doubles in 2016

  • Published at 01:25 am January 3rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:27 am January 3rd, 2017
Child marriage almost doubles in 2016
According to the report prepared - based on information from 14 dailies - by Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP), the number was 177 in 2016, which stood at 94 the year before. The report implies that 2016 was the worst for women in last four years in terms of several forms of violence. There was a noticeable increase in gang rape in the first six months of 2016 with the rest of the year seeing significant rise in individual rape too. According to the study, at least 2,537 women and girls were tortured in various forms. 499 of them were raped between January and June, including gang rape of 64. As many as 4,896 women and girls were subjected to multiple forms of torture in the entire year.  In total, 1,050 women and girls were raped with the gang rape victims numbering 166. The number of gang rapes was 199 in 2015. The incidents of attempted rapes increased to 165 in 2016 from the previous year’s 142. Sixty-seven women and girls were set afire allegedly by their relatives and others last year while 35 in 2015. The number of women and girls falling victim to the criminal act was 22 and 26 in 2014 and 2013, respectively. Ninety-seven women and girls were abducted in 2015, but the figure jumped to 132 last year. Like most forms of violences, an increased number (413) of physical assaults was recorded in 2016, whereas it was 302 in 2015. Both 2016 and 2015 saw almost the same number of suicides by women and girls. The number was 337 last year,  merely one more than that registered in 2015. Out of the 337 suicides, seven were committed by housemaids. Twenty-five other housemaids were tortured to death in the same year. 179 housewives were murdered last year for dowry, a very common cause behind death of women in Bangladesh. The number of such deaths dropped in 2016 compared to the 202 cases in 2015, 236 in 2014 and 245 in 2013. Less number of women and girls were trafficked last year than the previous years, but the numbers still remain high. BMP General Secretary Rakhi Das Purkayastha told the Dhaka Tribune that there was no alternative to changing mindset towards women for their safety. Insisting on reporting all crimes committed against women and girls, she said it is important to ensure justice for the victims. She said the completion of trial and their execution would make people from all walks of life more aware of women’s rights. Law enforcers, administration and the judiciary will have to play bolder roles to help change the situation, she said, otherwise the country would experience even worse days in future.