I just came across two articles about eve teasing in Bangladesh:
1. School and college students held a rally in Dhaka to protest against ‘eve teasing’ and the sexual harassment of women in the latest in a series of protests following a number of suicides and killings involving women subjected to bullying and harassment. The protesters are urging the Bangladesh government to take proper steps to curb sexual harassment and provide better protection for women.
“Unable to bear the insults, some women have committed suicide. Activists say stalking and sexual harassment has led to the deaths of more than 24 people, most of them women, since the beginning of this year. In recent days, some who have spoken out against sexual harassment have been murdered. A 50-year-old woman died after a motorcycle was driven over her when she protested against the bullying of her daughter last week. A college teacher who spoke out against such bullying was also murdered.”
“Following the suicides and killings, the High Court has asked the government to take measures to prevent stalking. Officials in the district of Tangail are now offering karate training to all female school and college students. Learning martial arts makes girls better able to protect themselves, they say.”
And will there also be trainings for boys and men to not harass girls and women?!
2. In the Daily Star, police talk about their strategies for dealing with eve teasing. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Hassan Mahmood Khandker requested the media to term ”eve teasing” as an offence so that harassers are held accountable. He said he is also considering assigning personnel to whom victims of harassment can send SMS for help.
Because there tends to be more harassment around festivals like Eid-ul-Azha, over 50 thousand additional law enforcers will span the country as of November 11.”A three-stage security arrangement will be designed to make sure the safety of people before, after, and on the Eid day,” Khandker said.
It is sad that it took suicides for people will take this issue seriously in Bangladesh (UNICEF even has programs there now, earlier this year the first jail sentences were given to harassers, and the government declared an Eve Teasing Protection Day). And now, in many ways, Bangladesh is doing more than many countries – including the US – to deal with this issue. Will it take suicides in the US before stakeholders pay attention? Apparently murders aren’t enough.