87% Bangladeshi women harassed at least once; public transport riskiest: Survey



An online survey of over 5,000 women spread across 24 districts of the country has revealed that nearly 87 percent of them have faced some form of harassment at least once in their lives.

The findings also revealed that 36 percent women face sexual harassment regularly on public transports including bus, launch, train and at terminals. As such more than half (57 percent) of the respondents consider public transport as the most unsafe.

Other than public transport, streets, shopping malls and online platforms too happen to be places where women have been targeted.

UNDP (Bangladesh), NHRC and CRI conducted the survey in joint collaboration. They reached out to 5,187 women in the districts through various mediums such as social media, text messages, email etc.

The survey has also revealed that daylight hours are when they are most frequently harassed. A whopping 52 percent said they were harassed during daylight hours, with most incidents concentrated in the afternoon hours.

The bleakest of all findings, however, is the response to being harassed—only 36 percent protested when they were harassed and only 1 percent went to law enforcers after the incident; a reflection of the stigma and lack of social or legal support extended to victims.

This is also reflected in the help extended by onlookers to a woman being harassed. The survey revealed that 44 percent victims were not provided any help while they were being harassed in a public place.

When questioned why public places are unsafe, 48 percent respondents said a lack of respect towards women is the sole reason behind harassment, 19 percent said overcrowded public transport is to blame and 10 percent believe that the absence of appropriate laws is a potential reason.