• Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019
  • Last Update : 04:53 pm

We need more than laws

  • Published at 12:02 am March 11th, 2019
Sheikh Hasina
Photo: FOCUS BANGLA

It is a matter of great disappointment that, even in this day and age, so many women face discrimination

When it comes to women’s rights and battling the sexism and misogyny which remain all but ingrained within society, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent sentiments at the inaugural function of International Women’s Day ring true: Simply enacting laws will not be enough. 

In order to truly end gender discrimination and violence against women, we as a society need to change the very way we perceive women.

It is a matter of great disappointment that, even in this day and age, so many women in our country face discrimination, be it at home, in the workplace, or on the streets, essentially preventing them from achieving their full potential as members of society.

Unless and until we are able to prevent the various obstacles which plague a woman’s journey towards self-actualization, all the progress we have made so far will be for nothing, especially with 50% of our population facing such problems on a daily basis. 

That is not to say that improvements have not been made over the last decade or so when it comes to the issue of women’s rights -- Bangladesh has consistently outshone its regional neighbours in terms of gender parity and equality.

But when two-thirds of our women have been victims of domestic violence, when only 5% of rape perpetrators face any sort of legal consequences for their actions, when men continue to view women as being inherently inferior, we can all agree that there is indeed a long way to go. 

What we need is not only changes in laws which promote gender equality, but changes in government policy which generate true societal change, in terms of mindset and perception.