POST TIME: 21 November, 2020 07:06:00 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 November, 2020 07:53:03 PM
When will our women be able to move freely?
The law on rape has changed over the centuries in every civilized society, but one of the implications of this law is the inferiority and helplessness of women over men
Jannatul Ferdous Sayma

When will our women be able to move freely?

Rape is one of the most abominable crimes in Bangladesh. Every religion in the world respects women and looks down on the most heinous crime like rape. In Islam, for example, rape is referred to as "jina-bil-ikrah".

Rape is not only a crime but also has many consequences in human life which are not limited to any physical harm or injury but it also causes permanent psychological trauma.  Recently, the government of Bangladesh has announced the death penalty as the maximum punishment for rape in the country. But the question remains, will it be possible to prevent such heinous crimes at all with just severe punishment?

According to "Manbadhikar Shangshtha Ain o Shalish Kendro" about 718 women were raped in 2016, 632 in 2016 and 1832 in 2019.

And in 2020, despite a long period of lockdown, rape cases have risen dramatically instead of declining.  Women of any class, age and religion are not excluded from rape.

And most of these perpetrators are relatives, friends, acquaintances, neighbours who know the victim, which is why most of the time no one complains after these incidents. Even loved ones, such as the victim's parents, are discouraged from filing complaints. In many cases, social influence has led to denial of cases. Their idea is that it is not possible to fix what happened to a victim’s life and if everyone finds out, the victim and her family will face various problems. Besides, everyone is well aware of the delay in the trial of cases in our country.

The social structure of Bangladesh has not yet been able to replace the equal rights of men and women. Despite the increase in literacy rates, we are still growing up in a society where boys are valued more than girls. The rapists no longer seem to have any fear in their minds and continue to commit such crimes freely. The family is also largely responsible for this problem of poor socialization. Parents become more aware of their daughters’ life, behaviours than the boys. Parents should keep an eye on the girl as well as their son about what he is doing in his personal life, where he is spending his time, whether he is involved in any crime, etc. Incorporating proper family education in children will reduce such obvious social problems.

The law on rape has changed over the centuries in every civilized society, but one of the implications of this law is the inferiority and helplessness of women over men. Rape is one of the most unreported crimes, and it is very difficult to prove rape.  But sadly because of this rape a woman faces many problems like unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, sleep disorders, eating disorders and other mental and physical disabilities.

It is the responsibility of the government as well as the people to eradicate this dangerous crime by keeping our environment safe, strong and preventing it by encircling it with a liberal outlook.  In many countries like Bangladesh and India, raped women still have to suffer the consequences of their own rape day after day.  So we need to stop slandering the victim as a social stigma after the rape has taken place. We also need to change our attitude. And it must be ensured that the perpetrators as well as the victims are never punished by the influence of society.

In conclusion, just as the law of our country is strong for such heinous crimes like rape, it is only a matter of time when everyone will be careful about ensuring these law's  proper implementation.

The writer is student of Department of Law, University of Chittagong.