03 Oct 2019

Generation Equality, Progress of Beijing+ 25


On average, nearly 13 women and girls were raped in Bangladesh every day in the first four months of 2019 (New Age Newspaper). When we look at the Bangladesh legal system, rape is framed in the context of morality, honour and modesty of a woman. Furthermore, survivors often face bias and discrimination in the justice system. For example, in the current legal system, the Evidence Act makes admissible in court the consideration of the character of the victim, specifically her immorality, in this way reinforcing rigid gender norms that blame and humiliate women, and also lead to impunity. The treatment of female survivors in the justice system reflects general societal views, where a 2011 UN study found that 54% of rural men and 45% of urban men believe that a woman had to be blamed for putting herself in that situation. And even when survivors do report the crime, the conviction rate in cases filed under the provisions of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000, is extremely worrying: only 0.3% in 2018.

As a result, we should not be surprised that only 2.6% of women took any legal action for partner physical or sexual violence. Female labour force participation has reached 35.6%, but growth is stagnant compared to 83% for men and the global average for women which is 49.6%. Around 93% of jobs held by women are informal work and women can earn up to 60% less than men for the same work.

It will be 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action was set out to remove the obstacles that women face in all areas of life. Throughout the world, not a single country can claim that they have achieved gender equality. Bangladesh has endorsed the Beijing Platform for Action at the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) in 1995. In the continuation of the Beijing Platform for Action, Beijing+ 25 will be held on the upcoming year 2020 in New York. To introduce Beijing+ 25 to the youth of Bangladesh, JAAGO Foundation is organizing Plenary Session in 10 districts. The Plenary Session will be held in Jhenaidah, Cumilla, Sherpur Dinajpur, Kushtia, Brahmanbaria, Bogra, Chandpur, Khulna and Moulvibazar.

Share your observation and experience in the plenary session. Your voice will be heard throughout the country along with the world. The representative of JAAGO Foundation, UN Women and Civil Society will be there to hear from you, answering your questions and will be discussing the critical areas that were identified in Beijing+25. The suggestions from the plenary session will then be shared with the government along with the world in the next Beijing+ 25 conferences.

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