• Saturday, Nov 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:22 pm

Time to speak up

  • Published at 05:40 pm November 17th, 2018
METOO
Bigstock

Raising awareness that sexual abuse takes place is not enough, it is time to fix these problems on a policy level

This year, the world has said enough is enough, and has taken an unprecedented stand against sexual harassment and abuse. 

It is good to see that Bangladesh, too, is catching up.

We are a country where, in spite of great strides made by women in the economy and the political sphere, casual misogyny in the workplace and at home are all too common.

In fact, so pervasive is the culture of sexual harassment and the demeaning treatment of women in workplaces, public areas, and even in the private sphere, that many feel that there is no way to claw our way out of this situation.

But this past year, and particularly these past few days in Bangladesh have shown that these obstacles to battling abuse and harassment towards women are not insurmountable.

Women in Bangladesh are speaking up, lending their voices to a chorus that says “me too,” and it is a voice that is finally too loud to ignore.

In a display of solidarity, female journalists recently held a demonstration in front of National Press Club, in a call to stand by victims of sexual abuse who have had the courage to speak up in a culture such as ours.

But raising awareness that sexual abuse takes place is not enough, it is time to fix these problems on a policy level -- for example, offices should have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment, and employees that go out of line should be dealt with swiftly.

It has taken some time, but change is happening, and we stand by all those who have suffered, and have come forward to share their stories.

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