Study Reveals Alarming Prevalence of Gender-Based Violence in Dhaka’s Slums Report
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A baseline study undertaken by icddr,b and Population Council in the slums of Mohakhali, Mohammadpur and Jatrabari reveals that women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health rights are consistently being violated, with gender-based violence occurring at alarming rates. According to the study, 76% of the women surveyed had endured physical or sexual abuse during the past 12 months, with 43% having suffered both physical and sexual abuse. 85% reported that their husbands restricted their access to health care.
The findings were shared at a seminar organised by the action research project Growing up Safe and Healthy (SAFE): Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Violence against Adolescent Girls and Women in Urban Bangladesh, which was held on Thursday, 12 July 2012 in the Sasakawa Auditorium. In her closing speech, Chief Guest, Advocate Tarana Halim, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh commented that “We must implement existing laws to give the women of Bangladesh their rights.”
Dr. Ruchira Tabassum Naved, Principal Investigator of the SAFE project and Research Group Coordinator of the Gender, Health, Human Rights & Violence against Women Research Group (under the Centre for Equity and Health Systems) said, “Our findings clearly demonstrate high rates of child marriage and denial of other sexual and reproductive rights of the women and girls in the slums. We hope SAFE will be able to show which interventions are useful and which are not.”