women in Bangladesh often face harassment and abuse by their male counterparts, be it in the office or on the street or in house. But, few of them take any action. jurists think that being ignorant to their legal rights is the main reason to such indolence to seek redress. Here are some most heinous crimes against women and their punishments have been drafted by -Mahfuza khatun
* Following a woman without her knowledge is stalking and is an act of sexual harassment. The accused shall be punished with imprisonment up to 2 years or with fine or with both as per section- 354, the penal code-1860.
* Demanding sexual favours despite indication of disinterest is a crime under section 354 of the penal code-1860, and The Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Domon Ain-2000. The accused can face jail time ranging up to 2 years or with fine or with both under penal code and up to 2 to 7 years jail and with fine under The Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Domon Ain-2000.
* If a woman's clear refusal to someone's sexual advances is met by threats to harm her physically or her reputation and property, it is a crime under section 503 of the penal code-1860. The accused can face 2 years jail or fine or both.
* Watching, capturing or sharing images of a woman engaging in a private act without her CONSENT is voyeurism and is punishable under section- 509, the penal code-1860, for 1 year imprisonment or with fine or with both and also punishable under section 57 of the ICT Act-2006 for 10 years imprisonment and with fine of one crore taka.
* In an event that you are faced with an act of sexual harassment , you have the right to file an FIR (First Information Report) preferably with the local police station.
* A senior colleague or an employer demanding sexual favours in exchange for work benefits, promotion, or salary hike- is an act of sexual harassment as per sexual harassment of The Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Domon Ain (2000), section- 10(2) and is punishable up to 2-7 years imprisonment and with fine.
* Morphing pictures of a woman and sharing them with an intent to harass and defame her is a crime as per section 499 of the penal code-1860. The punishment may include jail time upto 2 years or fine or both.
* If a woman makes a complaint about an act of sexual harassment under The Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Domon Ain (2000), the inquiry has to be completed within 15 days if the accused is arrested on the spot and within 60 days if the accused could not be arrested on the spot. (section-18)
Mahfuza khatun- is a student of law, South East University