On harassment against women
‘Rape’, ‘sexual harassment’ or ‘eve teasing’ - we all are very well used to these kinds of words nowadays. And why not? Every day, when we wake up early in the morning the very first thing we all do is get a mug of tea in one hand and the newspaper in the other, and the news always has frequent headlines on school or college going teenage girls facing sexual harassments on the way. University students or working girls also face various types of harassment in their daily lives. Some even experience sexual harassment from their relatives.
As a girl, I can feel what these poor girls are going through. I think every girl, at least once in her life, has gone through some of these horrible experiences – even if to a small extent. A very small number of them ever talk about these in or outside of their families as the family members forbid them from telling anyone about these ‘shameful’ incidents. Thus most of these issues stay hidden forever, causing enormous mental pressure on the victims.
Why do these kinds of incidents happen around us so frequently? Why do women have to face these? Why cannot the families, the society or state protect them? Why do the abusers picture the women this way? Is this rooted in the very thinking of our society?
In this sub continent, female children are still unwelcomed in the family. When a baby girl is born, most of the families can hardly think of her as a precious gift. Instead they look at her as a burden. In our patriarchal society, the females in many families are not wholeheartedly considered as a part of the family. In some cases, the treatments a girl receives from her own parents can not be explained in words.
I do not think the emergence of rapists is a sudden phenomenon. The whole social structure of this patriarchal world is responsible for this. If a boy has always experienced that his family treats his mother, sister or aunt disrespectfully, then unconsciously he looses his respect for women. The teenage boy would usually be seen wandering around in the locality with a bunch of children his own age, passing time chasing the girls. But what could he do instead, as there is no encouragement for any kind of extracurricular activities? As days go on, he starts to tease a girl by seeing others do the very same thing. If anyone makes an accusation against him and his family does not pay any heed to that allegation, the boy becomes privileged and started to feel invincible about committing such crimes.
This is only one scenario of our country. There are lots of other issues which fuel these types of incidents. Even a country cannot save her daughter from being harassed. There are laws but applicability of these laws is almost zero. And most often, these culprits are always backed by some powerful person - those who bribe the law enforcement agencies to end allegations or even terrorize the victim and victim’s family!
In this 21st century, where science and technology have accelerated our lives and changed our ways of living, we all are going through these kinds of horrible primitive incidents. Indeed, it is an irony!
Hurain J Husna
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