Combating social malady
Social malady means social disease that affects the society and its people vulnerably. Social disease goes endless unless it is evacuated from the society and in many cases its complete cure is almost impossible. In the patriarchal society ill - attitude towards girls and women is not a recent issue, rather it has been dominant uncured for centuries.
Inequalities against women result in many different forms of violence. Battering, stalking, rape, sexual assault and harassment, child marriage, sex trafficking and domestic violence, etc. are common to observe in the society and especially the Asian women are bearing the most brunt.
Millions of boys and girls are subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation across the globe. They are not only undergoing physical sufferings but also mental despondency affecting their life-cycle vulnerably.
Global data show that 35 per cent of women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime and around 90 per cent of adolescent girls are either succumbed to forced sex or other physical abuses. The report says that in most cases these girls are victimized by their known ones.
Teasing girls and women has been an everyday phenomenon that has a dire consequence on their life. In most cases the teenaged girls cannot bear the agony of harassment and emotionally choose the path to committing suicides. Sometimes dailies expose some incidents that girls are exploited by their husbands or their boyfriends. Such harassment against women has increased manifolds in the age of digitization.
In fact, harassment in the digital age may be formed in different ways such as hacking, cyber-pornography, and blackmailing, etc. A recent study conducted by a non- government organization shows that seventy per cent of the people subjected to online harassment in the capital are women whose age range is between 15 and 25 years. Also the ratio of harassment may be the same across the country.
Even children are not safe at educational institutions as in recent time dailies and electronic media have exposed some tales of horrifying child sexual abuse. Not only that, children are severely given corporal punishment at some residential madrasahs that sometimes come to our notice through dailies.
It is such a horrific incident that we never expect in the civilized world. Recently a video of a madrasahteacher torturing of two minor students went viral, that made a storm of criticism amid the nation. How a man can act like a beast and it would be more shameful when he is a teacher. Certainly, it is nothing but a glaring evidence of child abuse.
Apart from this, another horrifying child sexual abuse began to unfold with the arrest of a madrasa teacher in Chittagong that he used to rape young boy every night but the incident would remain unreported unless a guardian of one of the victims filed a case against him.
It is very usual to think that many gruesome incidents happen unreported. Undoubtedly, this sort of swindle is coloring the noble profession 'teaching'. I think the civilized society would remain wordless to describe such a beast.
Another thing is that in recent time rape culture has surged manifolds in the country. It has been a daily occurrence making people worry of the bad impacts of it in the society .The violence against women is spreading like a contagious disease disrupting the nation with its sudden attack. The rape has taken its epidemic form in the country when we are combating Covid-19, shifting our all attention to control the unprecedented pandemic.
According to a report of the Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 975 women were raped across the country in the last nine months, 208 gang-raped, 43 killed after being raped and 12 victims committed suicide while at least 161 were the victims of sexual assault.
However, following the rape incidents repeatedly occurring in the country along with huge protests from the people of all walks the government has introduced capital punishment for rapists by amending the existing law. No doubt it's a time-centric initiative but where is the guarantee that capital punishment will save the society from the menace?
It can be well exemplified that it is many years since we are making slogans and demonstrations against dowry. It is pertinent to ask; have we been able to end it? Rather, it is mounting day by day in different forms in the digital era.
It has been called another name such as happy gifts or love tokenfrom the bride's family where law has nothing to do as people are encouraging this evil practice .Taking a vow is a must that we will not demand or accept any dowry at the time of our marriage and for this we need a strong will-power that can end up this evil.
It is laudable that the present government led by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has achieved enormous success in women empowerment. The rate of girls' enrolment at education is very significant and women in the country are given every facility to establish their own identity in the society and in many cases they have proved their worth working simultaneously with male counterparts. But the country is still suffering from women insecurity at homes and working places.
However, any sort of disparities against girls and women should be uprooted from the society that is likely to cause social malady. Law enforcing agencies should be on vigilance to track those who violate against humanity, especially girls, women and children and the swindles have to be given exemplary punishment.
Only introducing laws to combat social disease is not enough, rather unless we change our mentality and boycott the swindles from the society, it will be a far cry to save the society from social malady. Lastly, it is very imperative to conduct an analysis that why, how the social illness spreads over the country and look into the recommendations for the quick prevention of such cases making malady.
The writer teaches at Prime University