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BMBS: Oppressed men have no legal support

  • Published at 01:58 am December 18th, 2016
  • Last updated at 10:06 am December 18th, 2016
BMBS: Oppressed men have no legal support
Project Officer (legal aid) of Bangladesh Manabadhikar Bastabayan Sangstha (BMBS) Advocate Salma Sultana made the observation to the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. She said: “In most cases, the repressed man would not file any complain as it would be a shameful thing in society. Moreover, there is no tribunal or legal system supporting the oppressed men.” Several sources with whom Dhaka Tribune discussed the issue alleged that a number of men are facing untold harassment and sufferings at the hands of women daily; but due to the indifference of authorities concerned and because of lacking of legal rights to file any complaint over the issue, there is no actual database in this regard.
‘If we face 10 women harassment cases during a particular time span; one third of it, I mean at least three cases come to us by the same time period where men became victims of harassment at the hands of women’
In case of women harassment there is Women and Children Repression Prevention Act - 2000, and Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act – 2010; but there is no Act in favour of men who are oppressed by women. Besides, not a single non-governmental organisation (NGO) that addresses the issue, or keep any database to ensure man’s rights. For which reason, the number of men harassed at the hands of women always remains unknown. Advocate Salma Sultana said: “Like the women, men also are harassed and oppressed by their wives.” Accepting the authenticity of the issue, she yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune: “If we face 10 women harassment cases during a particular time span; one third of it, I mean at least three cases come to us by the same time period where men became victims of harassment at the hands of women.” She further said although the number of women harassment cases is still very high, it is notable that a number of these cases had been found fake as some of the women are using the Women Repression Act to serve their personal interest and vengeance. According to BMBS database, in 2015, at least 500 men – with allegation of being repressed by their wives – contacted the human rights organisation seeking legal advices to continue their family life without harassment. The database also shows that in first six months of current year, a total of 26 men submitted written allegation of harassment against their wives. Fatema Yeasmin, working as communication and documentation officer of BMBS for long, said according to their database, at least 81 men died in incidents of violent family conflicts during the first eight months of this year. Of whom, a majority are victims of harassment at the hands of women. According to the BMBS database, a newly married engineer living at Dhanmondi area in the capital filed a complaint alleging that his wife did not allow any psychical relation after the marriage. He took it normally thinking that his wife was doing so due to new environment. In an attempt to make his wife easy, the engineer then took her for a tour in Bangkok; and reaching there, he discovered a new aspect of his wife. He surprisingly saw that his wife drinks and takes part in party at nightclubs with friends whom she found out in Bangkok. After returning to homeland, he tried to settle down the issue by consulting his wife’s family. But without giving any chance to normalise their newly new married life, the woman filed a case against the husband under Women Repression Prevention Act. Taking Tk20 lakh as penalty, she finally divorced him. Sources say, a good number of men who are harassed or repressed by their wives finally end up in divorce. Statistics of Dhaka North and South City Corporation shows, around 27,500 divorces took place in last four years in Dhaka. Among which, 29.15 percent divorces were sought by men. On March 24 of 2015, independent lawmaker Haji Mohammad Salim proposed to form a law to protect men from women repression during an unscheduled discussion in the Parliament, but no effective result came out of the proposal. Even Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal thinks a movement should be waged to protect men from being harassed by women. He said: "We only take database of women harassment but it is necessary to take the men harassment database too to get a clear picture about what is happening in the society."