Women form a human chain in front of the National Press Club in the city yesterday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Karmojibi Nari, a platform for working women, organised the event
.With the slogan 'We can stop violence against women', the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women was observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe yesterday.
To mark the day, rights organisations held elaborate programmes to raise awareness and promote a culture of zero tolerance to violence against women.
"It is true that stopping violence against women is not an easy task because it is deep-rooted in our society where women don't dare to disclose the fact even if they are tortured. But it is time to break the silence and come forward to put an end to violence," said Sultana Kamal, former adviser to a caretaker government and chairperson of the 'We Can Alliance'.
Launching a mobile van campaign at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city to disseminate messages of awareness in different districts, she said that everybody needs to fight from his or her own position to end the evil menace.
Lawmakers Tarana Halim, Sarah Begum Kabari and Rowshan Jahan, former adviser to the caretaker government Gitiara Safiya Choudhury, Nasimun Ara Huq of Nari Sangbadik Kendra and Rokeya Rafique of Karmojibi Nari expressed their solidarity with the campaign.
The lawmakers said that the government came to power with the commitment to the 'charter of change' and this can happen by changing the attitude towards women.
Steps Towards Development also organised a programme at Rabindra Sarobar in the city with a call to fight repression on women.
Expressing solidarity with the programme, Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation Shaheen Anam said it is a shame for all if a woman is tortured.
It is the responsibility of everyone to resist repression on women, she said, adding that such repression will continue unabated unless women get recognition for their contribution to the family and society.
Speaking at the programme, Home Minister Sahara Khatun said concerted efforts of men and women can eliminate violence against women from society.
Although there are some tough laws against torture of women, they cannot always be enforced properly due to various reasons, she added.
Girl Child Advocacy Forum formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club to mark the day.
They demanded that the government withdraw reservations on some articles of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Violence against Women (CEDAW), implement the National Women Development Policy and enact the Domestic Violence (prevention and protection) Act 2009.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad held a meeting with the Inspector General of Police.
Parishad leaders stressed the need to strengthen community policing system to resist violence against women.
The local EU Presidency and the Delegation of the European Commission in a statement expressed their solidarity and support with the continued efforts to combat gender-based violence in Bangladesh.
Odhikar held a discussion at the National Press Club with a call to work together to combat violence against women.
A study of Odhikar showed that from January 1, 2009 to October 30, 2009 a total of 55 women fell victims to acid violence, 209 women and girls (under 16) were raped, including 4 by law enforcers, and 277 were victims of dowry.
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