UNICEF addresses “eve teasing” in Bangladesh

July 29, 2010

Via UNICEF

I’m so pleased to hear that UNICEF is tackling the huge problem of eve teasing/street harassment in Bangladesh!

Recently they helped organize more than 600 people for a rally in the Narsingdi district of Bangladesh to speak out against eve teasing. With local groups they helped organize parents, community members and adolescents in Narsingdi for a motivational workshop aimed at protecting adolescent girls. UNICEF and its partners also are working to create awareness by establishing and supporting local adolescent groups called ‘Kishori Clubs’. The clubs allow girls and boys to learn to socialize in positive ways and they participate in activities that empower them to become agents of change.

(Watch the YouTube video of the march and Kishori Club)

Via UNICEF’s website:

“At the workshop in Narsingdi, adolescents from a local Kishori group presented a play that explored the negative impact of Eve teasing and suggested ways to prevent it. The powerful performance reflected the strong opinions of the young people involved.

”I have a friend. A boy used to tease her,” explained performer and Kishori Club member Marzahan, 13. “But after we staged this play at our school, the boy began to understand. Our teachers also taught him about the damage that Eve teasing can cause. Now he is friendly to everybody and he doesn’t tease any girls anymore.”

Shohagh, 13, another club member, is among the boys who believe the time has come to take action on Eve teasing. “Girls need to have access to education and be able to live healthy lives,” he said. “They should be able to enjoy their rights.”

Fantastic. I love how they are taking a preventative angle rather than just telling girls to not go out at night or to ignore harassers. That doesn’t work, but education, dialogue, and prevention do.

12.14.10: Here’s another news story about this problem that looks at it across the past year.