Thesis on Sexual Harassment Experienced by Women at the Street of Dhaka City

How "people need to understand that street harassment has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power." how street harassment incidents “are rarely reported, and are culturally accepted as 'the price you pay' for being a woman and living in a city like Dhaka.” It is a “gateway crime” which creates a “cultural environment which makes gender-based violence okay,” and how while a legal method exists in countries like India and Bangladesh to tackle abuse at work or home, “when it comes to the streets -- all bets are off.”

Women are also being told to ignore by other women, as commonly observed by mothers and other older female family members. These members from a young age are giving the impression that they are powerless and must thus simply ignore, that being harassed in the streets is inevitable but avoidable via ignorance. 

The long standing ideological belief in the “modest” Bengali woman of this culture often promotes such ignorance. Poor urban women for example are often stereotyped as having lower sexual morals, further making them not speak out in public for the consequence of being even more marginalized for their gender. Women, especially those who do not have an access to a private car must change their lifestyle, such as in the way that they dress as a social protection and in order to fit into this ideology and avoid street harassment instead of waiting for the act itself to terminate in society. The violators in turn quickly realize that they will not be held responsible, and gain further confidence to continue harassing in the streets.

Women are increasingly sharing the household income and participating in higher education in Dhaka, a city that is also urbanizing at a rapid rate and in a suffocating way. Modern politics encourage such female participation. And for those that are able, women are often being sheltered away in their activities, being told not to be in the streets too much and be in their private shells. Thus, the streets are still overwhelmingly dominated by men. However, what if more women did make their presence known? 

In the street those harassment and gender based discriminations have great impact on women life wholly. Government and law enforcing agencies should take effective steps to combat against those problems as early as possible.

Sexual harassment against women is a silent but awful crime which is pervasive in the domestic and social arena of Bangladesh. Due to social stigma and lack of awareness, the victims of this crime do not raise their voice against it. But sexual harassment happens to be such a debilitating crime which eats up the very core of a human being. It hurts her dignity, makes her feel powerless, helpless and often she may think of herself responsible to deserve such treatment. The sexually abused person is doubly victimized since they cannot talk about these abusive treatment to anyone and have to bear this pain and trauma all alone. This is one of the reasons which actually encourage further harassment. Because silence makes the perpetrator feel immune to any kind of disciplinary action. Mostly women become victims of sexual abuse here in Bangladesh. In this study an effort has been made to hear the unheard stories of these traumatized victims in the street.

Gender specific violence, nowadays, are addressed in many ways seeking solutions, but it is really a hard question to deal with, to identify factors that may immediately resist them. Thus the prime concern of this study is to examine past and present occurrences of incidents like sexual harassment and eve teasing and then seeking practical solution by finding gaps in existing measures) Even more so there are trafficking in women and children where their individual human-rights are grossly denied.

Violence that becomes more explicit on the basis of power imbalance between the sexes has been the most effective reason of the occurrence of such incidences. Looking back to the genesis of Bangladesh as an independent nation it is readily perceived that this independence cost bloodshed of millions of myrters. While the other fact that remained equally uttered in the literature and in the mind of the masses is that of the massive abuse and sexual violence that was executed to the female population of the land as an extreme means to weaken the strength of the freedom seeker. At least 30 lacks of women and girls came under severe repression and physical torture by the opposing party's military soldier, which still hark them back to the horrific moments they have passed thorough out the war period. Post- traumatic experience of those women as is revealed in research paper on the lives of those women depicts that how they are still bearing the panic of that violence that affected them some 40 years back. Those terrific moments of attacks are still as alive in their minds as it was at the moment of taking place, this fact further implies that physical and sexual abuse have handicapped them to live the rest of their lives as is revealed by studies on them. Such is the horrendous consequence of the implication of violence in the lives of women and girls.)