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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2705

Does law protect our girls from Eve Teasing?

By *ATM Haidar Khan

Does law protect our girls from Eve Teasing? If it does, to what extent? this question is being asked by million in Bangladesh, with the recent event in TSC, University of Dhaka, Bangladeshi girl are among most doomed in the world who regularly suffer the social disease known as eve teasing .

This social disaster has lethal impact on socio economic and psycho social status of adolescent girls as well as matured women. Yet, sometimes it causes death. So, what is eve teasing?

Usually, eve teasing is explained as unwanted sexual conduct that happens in public places. But this is not how it should be defined; eve teasing should be defined as brutal attack on women.

Unfortunately, women if south Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are suffering more for this catastrophe then anywhere in the world. In Bangladesh, eve teasing is a common phenomenon. The reason of high rate of eve teasing in Bangladesh could be several; yet, the main reasons are such as psychological, political and legal.

These 3 causes of eve teasing are inter-connected to each other. Due to lack of proper education some people at one age became eve teaser, for social circumstance, these people don’t have literally have any respect for the women, having some political backup makes this people think that they can do anything they like and eventually they do crime such as eve teasing.

However, in most cases this offense remain concealed by the family of eve teasing suffer due to social reason. Very little goes to the concentration of law enforcement but end up either with more harassment to the sufferer or very little punishment for the criminal.

There are some laws exist to protect women for eve teasing, in section 76 of Metropolitan Police act 1976 eve teasing was first addressed as a punishable offence with a maximum of one year custody which was very irrational punishment because a victim of sexual harassment has to suffer with ache for life time, even after their death, their generation also suffer where the offender happily lead life after only 365 days of imprisonment.

However, in The Prevention of Women and Children Act-2000 the issue was more seriously addresses with punishment increased with 3 years and 10 years of imprisonment. Later in 2003, The Prevention of Women and Children Act-2000 amended with a new provision which ridiculously says “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”.

But the question is how reasonable was the amendment? Practically, if a woman is forced to commit suicide as a direct consequence of somebody's willful dishonor/sexual harassment/ assault then the criminal should be charged for murder and should be subject to death penalty.

On the other side, these criminal are politically protected, they are rarely seen to be punished, and this is one of the most pathetic reason beyond the growth of eve teasing in Bangladesh. The other reason is social circumstances, the sufferer remains the oppression eve teasing hidden, our society binds girl in a limitation, if a girl faces any sexual harassment, she is often thrown out from society or treated badly rather than punishing the offender.

Some people argues, girl should be properly dressed themselves to avoid harassment such as eve teasing, but clotting really reason for being harassed? This perception should be entirely wrong, in western countries girls are seen with more attractive dresses, but the reports of an event of eve teasing are very rare. Lack of laws, law enforcement and social awareness and misuse political power are the most responsible for this social catastrophe.

A new act should be immediately come into force to protect women form eve teasing and other sexual harassment.

Moreover, social consideration on eve teasing victim should be changed and eve teaser are depraved criminal they should not have any political identity. Only our joint endeavor can make the country safe for our women.

* ATM Haidar Khan - Researcher, South Asian politics and political economy; Ex, President, Bangladeshi Students Union UK

- Asian Tribune -

Does law protect our girls from Eve Teasing?
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