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Protecting our girls

  • Published at 07:17 pm September 10th, 2018
Editorial
Photo: BIGSTOCK

We must remember that only so much can be done by laws and policies if retrogrades attitudes about gender still persist


The world should be a safe place for girls and women. The sad truth is that it is not. 

While Bangladesh struggles to achieve Goal 5.2 of the SDGs of eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, the reality on the ground becomes worse each day.

The statistics are grim: 593 girls were raped last year, and the number is 445 this year already. 

Also, many girl children are subjected to bullying in schools. 

We are nowhere near close to eradicating violence against children, let alone providing them with safe spaces.

Parents favouring boys over girls can do a lot of damage, and limit the true potential of children as well as foster harmful attitudes.

Schools are the places for children to get guidance and learn to think critically, and our teachers must actively fight sexism is the classroom. 

Committees in schools should be set up to deal with sexual harassment, while sex education will aid in helping students understand the nuances of sexuality, and allow them to raise voices when they are in harmful situations. 

Government authorities must also make sure that laws which are already in place are implemented, and victims feel safe and comfortable about coming forward.

But we must remember that only so much can be done by laws and policies if retrogrades attitudes about gender still persist in society.

When it comes to ending gender-based violence against children, Bangladesh has a long way to go, but we will get there.