Eve teasing in Bangladesh
Eve teasing is a recognized principle of liability or not and if not is it the high time to recognize it as an independent area of liability. Observing the present scenario which is most unsafe for women, this project also puts forward and presses the need of including eve teasing under a new head of liability. Now a day eve –teasing is become critical problem in our country. Social menace like eve-teasing breaking out wave from recently in Bangladesh this project tries to put some light on the grey areas of sexual harassment or what is called eve teasing in Bangladesh. Examining these grey areas also has the intention of attracting the attention of eminent jurists, lawyers and the law makers to this grave civil wrong and to pressurize them to formulate some laws in this direction so as to give some relief to the victim which is otherwise impossible.
What is Eve-teasing?
Eve teasing is a euphemism used in India and sometimes Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal for public sexual harassment, street harassment or molestation of women by men, with eve being a reference to the biblical Eve. Considered a problem related to delinquency in youth it is a form of sexual aggression that ranges in severity from sexually suggestive remarks, brushing in public places, catcalls, to outright groping. Sometimes it is referred to with a coy suggestion of innocent fun, making it appear innocuous with no resulting liability on the part of the perpetrator. Many feminists and voluntary organizations have suggested that the expression be replaced by a more appropriate term. According to them, considering the semantic roots of the term in Indian English, eve-teasing refers to the temptress nature of Eve, placing responsibility on the woman as a tease, as though the aggressive response of the males was normal rather than criminal. Eve-teasing has been a notoriously difficult crime to prove, as perpetrators often devise ingenious ways to attack women, even though many feminist writers term it as “little rapes”, and usually occur in public places, streets, and public transport. Some guidebooks to the region warn female tourists that eve teasing may be avoided by wearing conservative clothing, though eve teasing is reported both by Indian women and by conservatively-dressed foreign women.
Who is eve-teaser?
Now-a-days Eve-teasing has become intolerable. The harassment can take a variety of forms and the perpetrators come from multiple walk of life. They are rich and poor, educated and uneducated. According to Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) the Eve-teasers are may be:
a. teenage boys
b. rickshaw pullers
c. bus drivers
d. street vendors
e. traffic vendors
f. often supervisors or colleagues of the working women
And it is a matter of great regret that, now-a-days some educated and well-known boys are also enjoying the way of eve-teasing.
Eve-Teasing in Bangladesh:
Eve teasing is not a new problem in Bangladesh. It is a concern since many years. Almost every young girl is a victim of teasing, especially by the local young teaser. The most of the people may avoid it as a common matter with young generation. Yes, it is. But it is not every time. It can be tolerated until no girl is being attacked. But when it crosses the line, it will raise as a problem to us. It is surely a social problem. These days, many girls have committed suicide only to safe themselves from eve-teasing. That means, eve-teasing in Bangladesh has reached its maximum range. This is against the women rights without any doubt. Those who are involved with this kind of embarrass stuff can be named as a terrorist.
The teasers wait in schools, colleges or outside the house gate and as soon as girls walk passed by them they start teasing with ribald comments, smutty jokes, coarse laughter,sly whistles and even indecent exposure.
According to a daily newspaper, two girl committed suicide only in October 2010. In the last 7 months there 4 girls were killed and 42 were injured. Well, this is just a ruff measurement, which came across the people’s attention. There happened many occurrences like this, which were not published in the newspaper. In most of the cases, the victims shy to exposes these incidents.
Various forms of Eve Teasing in Bangladesh
Eve-teasing has attacked our society in various forms. With all its forms it is destroying the society.
1. Eve-teasing with school going female students: At the adolescent age, male students while passing by a school make many indecent remarks hurting the female students. An adolescent young boy follows a girl from her school to her residence just to attract the attention of the girl. Such other ways of eave-teasing are passing bad comments and writing indecent letters etc. In some cases, some eve-teasers venture themselves to make a relation with a young girl forcibly. It puts the concerned girl into such a mental trauma that it is hard to bear. Following such mental trauma some young girls take their lives and thus a potential life comes to an end.
2. Eve-teasing on mobile: Eve-teasing on mobile phone has become the most popular form. A stalker, getting a mobile phone, starts teasing a girl in many ways. At first, he sends SMS in ornamental and rhetorical language to which a young girls easily falls victim as she is also an adolescent. Becoming a victim to this, a young girl develops a relation, on which that particular boy capitalizes. Some intimate moments are captured by hidden camera or video recorder and these are later on circulated through the internet. That is a reason why mobile phone sometimes becomes a curse despite its multiple benefits.
3. Sexual harassment by internet: Of late the young boys and girls in the cities are used to chatting through internet by which they come closer to each other. Being adolescent, the boys and girls fall victim to their sensuality extreme world.
Negative effect of Eve-teasing in Bangladesh:
Eve-teasing has a great negative influence over the family, society and of course the country. The demerits of eve-teasing are very clear to us. Many girls are committing suicide to save them from the teasers. This is not only frightening but threatening as well. Recently one Mother was killed to save her daughter from the eve-teasers. This is a real shame. Many of Girls are feeling insecure to go the schools. As a result, the parents are not allowing the girls to go to school or even outside of home. This is how the drop-out rate of female students is increasing day by day. Not only this, the victim girl may lose his mental balance. In most cases, girls are letting married in an early age. This underage marriage problem is also increasing by this eve-teasing problem. The guardians assuming, their daughter will be safe and fine with her husband. Basically the rate of illiterate people is high in Bangladesh. This illiteracy is a curse in this modern era. The female illiteracy is higher too. In this case, if this eve-teasing problem exists for a long time, Bangladesh will let down from worse to worst in terms of female education. If the girls are getting married in an early age, they will probably having more babies, which will make the population problem destructive. So in a sense, it can be said that Eve-teasing may create more problems beyond our expectation. The eve teasers are becoming more dangerous. They are willingly doing all these and asking hazards in society. They seemed to be committed of doing anything they want in the sake of their wish. These young teasers are turning out to be a terrorist in the coming days.
Eve teasing in Bangladesh causing many women to commit suicide:
London, June 16 (ANI): Eve teasing in Bangladesh has taken such a heavy toll on the country’s women that the education ministry there has voted to have an “Eve Teasing Protection Day”.
The announcement was made after the increasing concern over the worrying number of girls and women who have recently committed suicide in the country to escape eve teasing, a euphemism for sexual harassment.
According to figures released by the Ain-O-Shalish Kendra (ASK) human rights organisation, 14 girls and women have taken their own lives over the past four months across the country as a direct result of the insults.
In addition, a father and a daughter also committed suicide together – in an incident blamed by the authorities on “eve teasing”.
Police say three men who publicly protested against the harassment have been killed over the past 12 weeks.
Critics argue that laws, which78U should prohibit sexual harassment, are so poorly drafted that victims get virtually no help from the law enforcement agencies. Families of the victims are left feeling hopeless and helpless.
As the days going on, some social issues are becoming more and more dangerous. From load shedding to price hiking, crimes to calamities our country is going to change its usual nature. But the matter of fact that pained me to write this article is “eve teasing”
Some people considered it as a newly formed social issues. But the actual reality is its not a new problem here in Bangladesh. From the originate of society there are many discrimination between different gender. But the people actually the male has a nature or habit of insulting female. May be it hurts the readers who read this article specially the male readers but it is a true fact that this is a shame of being a male person here in BD. So, let me give you common reason of eve teasing.
1.Having a strong attraction to opposite sex. It is only granted for male people.
2.Giving less importance on gender discrimination problem.
3.Failing to educating girls. Its mean inadequate scope for female education.
4.Destruction of our social values. Respecting others, helping others and among them the way of showing love.
5.Last but not the lest, our sense or thoughts towards women.
May be there are also many issues that works behind eve teasing, so I can use etc. But its till a shame for us.
At last, I want to say in a regretted mind that i am still looking for the proper steps to eradicate eve teasing. I will give you sound if i find them. Till then hope you are also looking for that. Isn’t it?
Laws in Bangladesh:
In post-independent Bangladesh the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ordinance (DMPO) of 1976 first addressed the women teasing directly. Section 76 of the ordinance defines women teasing as, “willful and indecent exposure of one’s person in any street or public place within sight of, and in such manner as may be seen by, any woman, whether from within any house or building or not, or willful pressing or obstructing any woman in a street or public place or insulting or annoying any woman by using indecent language or making indecent sounds, gestures, or remarks in any street or public place”. Women-teasing is punishable with a maximum one year of imprisonment, or with a maximum two thousand Taka fine, or with both.
This is for the first time, in Bangladesh, an act other than the Penal Code addressed the teasing offence against women. However, the term ‘eve teasing’ is still not used. Likewise, the other five metropolitan police acts/ordinances made similar provisions to penalize the offence of teasing women. However, these acts have no jurisdiction outside their respective metropolitan areas that makes the offence exclusively a local and urban phenomenon. Special laws penalizing the offence of teasing women having nationwide jurisdiction was yet to be passed.
In 2000 the government enacted tougher law to protect the vulnerable women and children of the country from various typical offences. The Prevention of Women and Children Act-2000 came down heavily on the oppressors of the women. This act, inter alia, defined the now-much-talked-about sexual torture and sexual harassment.
In section 10(1), the law defines sexual torture as, ” if a man touches the sexual organ or any other organ of a woman or of a child by any of his organs or by any other objects with a view to fulfilling his illegal sexual desire, such act of the man will be termed as sexual torture”. This definition, in fact, includes the attempt of rape or outraging the modesty of a woman by actual physical contract. The law punishes the offender with rigorous imprisonment of minimum 3 and maximum 10 years and also an indefinite amount of fine.
In section 10(2), the law defines sexual harassment as, “if a man, with a view to fulfilling his illegal sexual desire outrage a woman’s modesty or makes erotic gesture, such act of the man will amount to sexual harassment”. A rigorous imprisonment ranging from 2 to 7 years and additionally an indefinite amount of fine is rewarded for this offence. According to this definition sexual harassment is an offence that is committed by not coming with actual physical contract to the victim.
However, the section 10(2) was abrogated when the law was last amended in 2003. A new provision has been added under section 9(ka) of the present law that states, if a woman is forced to commit suicide as a direct consequence of somebody’s willful dishonor/sexual harassment/assault, then the offender will be liable to a maximum of ten years and a minimum of five years of imprisonment. The amendment actually denied the remedy of sexual harassment of non-contract nature. The new provision though punishes the offender, it will not happen until the victim is dead. A legal ridicule, indeed!
After the amendment of The Prevention of Women and Children Act-2000 in 2003, there remained no legal provisions in the country addressing directly the problem of sexual harassment. But, newspapers bring out heart rendering reports on sexual harassment every now and then. At this backdrop Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) filed a Writ Petition (No. 5916 of 2008) to the High Court Division. The Honorable Court, after examining the pros and cons of the problem issued their Judgment on 14.5.2009 giving the government an eleven-point directive which will fill up the legislative vacuum in the nature of law. In these directives the Court suggested a detailed definition of sexual harassment that included all other existing definitions of non-contract sexually connoting offences. It also incorporated the modern means of erotic insults against the women that are prevalent in our present age of information technology. However, though the ingredients of the offence of eve teasing are easily distinguishable from the order, the court did not use the term eve teasing. Actually, eve teasing, though commonly used and popularly understood a term in Bangladesh, it remains outside the explicit legal definition.
It is known that the government has already started the process of fulfilling the directives of the judgment. Complaint Committees have been formed in many institutions according to the decretive no-9 of the judgment. But framing appropriate law to combat the ever-growing eve teasing is yet to be done. Committees are being formed in the institutions to protect the women attached to the institutions and punishment will be imposed on the persons inside the institutions, but the street Romeos, who commit their offence outside the institutions are still remain outside expected legal net. So, the enactment of an appropriate law to address sexual harassment to cover the whole gamut of the problem is an unavoidable urgency.
Protect or Remove the Eve Teasing Problem:
Eve teasing is an internal problem of Bangladesh. People need to know about the demerits of Eve teasing. Thus we need to raise our consciousness among the general people. The people also need to change their mind a bit. We always had a negative mind set for the girls. I don’t know why, but many of us are not ready to accept the equality between a girl and a boy. It has been advertising and making people belief that there are no difference between a girl and a boy. But the reality will disappoint you completely. There is a long distance between reality and what is publishing. Still we specially the boys are not ready to be beaten by a girl. Even if a girl wins legally we deny it every time. That’s why I said we need to change our view on girls. We must see them as a human being. We must credit them if they deserve. We must believe a girl can do as much as a boy can do. To do so, to change our view, we need people to be informed about that. As the eve teasing problem is staring from schools, colleges or universities, we need to protest this problem from the educations institutes. We have to make sure these educational institutes are free from eve teasers.
Even just 2 months ago, Eve Teasing was a hot topic in Bangladesh. This problem paid the attention of Education Minister too. The daily Newspapers were publishing all these news as the headline those days. Committees were made, organizations were active. Even girls were out taking banners and protesting against the problem in roads or schools, which was very promising. It’s their problem and they should play the vital role. By saying that I did not mean boys have nothing to do. Overall, all of us should be protesting against this problem being in our own places. But if the girls become more attentive of their rights, this problem will be solved quickly.
We need to investigate if there were any political interferes too. I saw some RABs and Policemen are catching the teasers and punishing them instantly. This is a good move from the Govt. It is expected; the teaser will be embarrassed and keep himself away from Eve Teasing in rest of his life. At the same time, there should be some accurate and proper laws against these crimes. As we have already seen, this problem is causing suicide and killing, so we should pay extra attention on that issue.
At the same time, if we can remove this problem, we will get our young generation back in their business. The will think positively and will be interested to do positive works for the society. The girls also should not try to blackmail any boys with this matter.
A helpful mind from both Boys and Girls will help us to get rid of Eve Teasing problem.
UNICEF supports efforts to end sexual harassment of girls and women in Bangladesh:
NARSINGDI, Bangladesh, 21 July 2010 – Hundreds of people, many of them adolescents, rallied in the streets of Narsingdi district recently to call for an end to ‘Eve teasing’ – a term used to describe the public bullying of girls and women by boys and men.
‘Eve teasing’ is become an often brutal form of sexual harassment that can result in permanent physical and psychological damage and profoundly alter the course of a girl’s life. The harassment manifests itself in different ways, ranging from verbal abuse and sexual innuendo to abduction, acid-throwing and rape.
Effects of Eve-teasing:
The effects or impacts of eve-teasing are given below:
1. Increases girls dropout rate from school:
Sexual harassment increases girls dropout rate from school. Parents concerned about their daughters honor or safety sometimes keep their daughters home or marry them off at an early age. Education is the key to improving the standard of living in a society.
2. Early marriage:
Girls who are teased or harassed are also pushed into marriage before they are physically or mentally prepared. Haf of Bangladesh girls are married before they reach 15 years old, and they usually bear their first child while they are still teenagers.
3. Hindered development:
Eve-teasing contributes to maintaining the law status of women. It also hiders women in participating in the formal employment sector As nearly half of the population of the country are women, for the economic development of the country their participation in employment is a must.
4. Commit to suicide:
Sexual harassment or eve-teasing are so poorly drafted that victims get virtually no help from the low enforcement agencies. Families of the victim are left feeling hopeless and helpless. And then some victims find suicide is the only avenue that enables them to escape this social pandemic.
5. Give Rise To Mental Pressure:
Because of sexual harassment or eve-teasing the girls and women are deprive of their rights and duties. They can not walk feely at their workplace. They have to face many obstacles to their workplace of school, colleges or universities. As a result they are always in a mental pressure.
6. Socio-economic insecurity:
At present, girls and women are the victim of socio-economic insecurity. In our country they have no social security.
Depiction in Popular Culture:
Traditionally, Indian cinema has depicted eve teasing as a part of flirtatious beginnings of a courtship, along with the usual accompaniment of song and dance routines, which invariably results in the heroine submitting to the hero’s advances towards the end of the song, and young men tend to emulate the example, depicted so flawlessly on screen and which gave rise to the Roadside Romeo which even made it a film version in Roadside Romeo (2007)(Staring Saif Ali Khan). It also has been popularly depicted that when a girl is teased by eve teasers, the hero will come beat them up, such as in the Telugu films “Madhumasam” and “Magadheera” and also the Hindi Movie ~Wanted”. Now-a-days this issue is also shown in Indian Television Soaps.
Sexual harassment is a manifestation of the patriarchal cultural norms of Bangladesh. It also reinforces those norms; it is both a symptom and a cause. Inasmuch as the harassment contributes to maintaining the low status of women, it also interferes with ending hunger,
A 2003 study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Which utilizes data from over one hundred thousand children in 36 developing countries, demonstrates that when women’s status gets better, their nutrition improves and their children’s nutrition improves. In South Asia, where the status of women is the lowest, improvements in women’s status would have the strongest affect. The study concluded that if there were an equalization of men’s and women’s decision-making power in South Asia, the incidence of underweight children under three years old would fall by up to 13 percentage points, resulting in 13.4 million fewer undernourished children in the region. 16 This study shows that elevating women’s overall status seems to be a crucial precondition to ending hunger.
Bangladesh is not a country that can afford to dally or placate traditional attitudes when it comes to ending hunger. It has one of the highest rates of child mortality in the world and the majority of those deaths are from causes related to hunger.17 Sexual harassment is implicated in those deaths. The Phenomenon must be dealt with seriously and immediately. It affects not only the girls and women who are subject to the acts but also leads to social violence, stops girls from being educated, and ultimately prevents the end of hunger.
Article 76 of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ordinance and Article 509 of the Penal Code of 1860 affirm that any acts, conducts, or verbal abuses that are used to disgrace women are punishable by law.18 In other words, sexual harassment is illegal. However, state interventions have been inadequate in stopping it to date. The law enforcing authorities have failed to protect women and girls.
We must take sexual harassment seriously and bring it to a halt. We can do this through the legal system, by enforcing the laws, arresting the perpetrators, and bringing them to trial. Alongside a legal response, we must also work to alter the underlying conditions that give rise to the offenses. By raising the status of women and girls, and endeavoring to achieve gender equality, we can end the practice of sexual harassment, end hunger and uplift the quality of life for all.
Eve teasing is a wrong against the honor, dignity and self respect of a woman. It hurts her immensely. There is a strong need for combating this fast growing problem. Policing should be made more responsive to the needs of women, for instance with dedicated police cells and help lines for victims. State and public institutions should take more seriously the implementation of the directive on sexual harassment issued by the High Court last year — or face severe sanctions. Civil society organizations and women’s groups should be given more resources to support and counsel victims, and launch public awareness campaigns
By law, the government should make it mandatory that the youth found to be guilty in eve-teasing deaths should be dismissed from the school/college he is studying and also barred from joining any other school/college – even through correspondence. All these punishments should be apart from rigorous imprisonment for a few years. In essence, they should be blacklisted at all levels and made a “zero’!
Eve teasing create day by day more problem In our country .so I want to say the upbringing of our country are getting engaged with destructive activities, because the do not have any righteous aim before them that’s why even the gleaming student are getting engaged work . I hope the culprits would be treated with zero tolerance. So the Government must take it seriously.
1. Bangladeshis raise voice against sexual harassment – Jun 19, 2010
2. Current News, January,2011
4. Minister’s security guard held on charge of eve-teasing, Date- 13/02/2011
9. The Daily Star, 10th December, 2010
10.Here It is called eve-teasing Woman, Body, Desire in Post-
colonial India: Narratives of Gender and Sexuality, by Jyoti
Puri. Published by Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0415921287.
11.Eve-Teasing The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English,
by Grant Barrett. Published by McGraw-Hill Professional,
2006. ISBN 0071458042. Page 109.
12.Eve-Teasing Image Makers: An Attitudinal Study of Indian
Police, by Giriraj Shah. Published by Abhinav Publications,
1993 ISBN 8170172950. Page 233-234.
13. Laws and Legislative Measures Affecting Women by
National Commission for Women (NCW) National
Commission for Women (NCW).
14. Sexual Harassment Indian Feminisms: Law, Patriarchies and
Violence in India, by Geetanjali Gangoli. Published by
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007. ISBN 0754646041.Page 63-64.
Ensure safety of women passengers, court to DTC – Mar 05, 2010, Preview of Hostel: Raises Ragging Issue In Educational Institutions – Dec 30, 2010, Cities unsafe for girls but provide more scope: Survey – Sep 22, 2010, http://onlinebdinfo.blogspot.com/2010/12/eve-teasing-problem-bangladesh.htmlSee the web site http://www.earnforblog.com/what-causes-eve-teasing/