News

Two hundred men take oath to prevent Gender Based Violence in Bogura

20 March 2019
Men taking oath to stand against gender-based violence and inequalities

For a country with an almost equal number of women and men in the population, the women empowerment agenda is a hopeless fight in Bangladesh without the engagement of men. The sooner the comprehension of men’s role in women’s advancement extends, the easier it would be to secure a sustainable future for the people, regardless of their sex or gender identity.

On that account, the realization- gender equality is a male business too- is of critical importance and it extends from the individual to the state. It is necessary not only for women’s empowerment, but also to transform the social and gender norms that reinforce patriarchy and inequality that harm both women and men. Keeping this in mind, the ASTHA project, supported by UNFPA and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, organized a day-long interactive event with multiple components in Bogura to raise awareness about harmful gender norms and practices among men and also to discuss their roles and responsibilities in preventing gender-based violence.

Over 200 men joined the event with the spirit of preventing violence against women and girls. Supporting the cause, men from different walks of life, aging from 18 to 60 years, attended the event and pledged to play an active role to stop gender-based violence in their homes and society.

 

“We all are human, irrespective of our gender identity. We promise to ensure equal rights and opportunity for all,” participants at the Male Gathering pledged.

"We will never discriminate between our daughters and daughters-in-law,” they promised unanimously.

They also wrote down their commitments and signed a banner to express their commitment to ensuring the dignity and rights of every woman and girl.

Representatives from different multi-sectoral government departments, locally elected bodies, religious leaders, marriage registers, civil society organizations, media and NGOs were also present at the event.

In the discussion sessions, speakers urged to bring change in the mindset and respect the choice and rights of women and girls most importantly who are at the risk of GBV.

“I have seen how women are being discriminated and subjected to violence in so many ways. There are many girls who get married at an early age and suffer from fistula. Sadly, in such condition, many of their husband leave them. It is often the case that they don’t even get support from their friends. They feel so hopeless,” said Dr. Md. Shamsul Haque, Civil Surgeon in Bogura who was present as the Chief Guest in the event.

He added, “Here we are ensuring the health sector’s response to GBV so that the vulnerable women and girls know that they are not alone in their fight. All men and women should know the cost of gender violence along with the consequences.”

A number of NGOs also participated at the event with their stalls displaying various IEC materials and publications on the prevention of gender-based violence. 

The ASTHA project is supported by UNFPA and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and it is being implemented by Ain o Salish Kendra and its partner Gana Unnayan Kendra.