Dhaka, Bangladesh
Women being sexually harassed in public space

Women being sexually harassed in public space

Action Aid survey reveals

An Action Aid study has revealed how women are subjected to sexual harassment, ranging from the euphemistically termed 'eve-teasing' to molestation, while availing public services, reports UNB. International NGO Action Aid Manager Nujhat Jebin revealed the information while disclosing the findings of a research titled "Public services in the context of violence against women in public sphere" at Dhaka Reporters Unity auditorium on Sunday. She said "Most government organisations do not take any precaution to stop violence against women at workplace, and if any such incident occurs, the authorities usually do not take the offence into cognizance, or give adequate punishment to the offender." The research was conducted on 400 persons from Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi and Narayanganj City Corporations over the quality of different public services like police administration, communications system, city corporation, market monitoring authorities' and health service. She said according to the research that started in 2016, common citizens, especially females, face multi-faceted problems while getting important public services like health, education and communication. "The situation developed due to lack of budget allocation to different important public service sectors. Lack of transparency and accountability in implementation of policy also contributed to the development," she added. Representatives from different development NGOs coming from across the country described the situation prevailing in the countryside. Analysing government allocations to public services and the findings of the research, Ganatantrik Budget Andolon Chairman Dr Pratima Pal Majumder said, "Allocations to public service sectors do not rise because the overall revenue collection does not rise. We have become a middle income country, but how many of us are paying the income tax. The government has to adopt new initiatives to increase revenue collection." She said, "The government has many policies to ensure public services. The present substandard condition of public services reached this extent as the government's stated policies are not implemented, and the persons providing public services are not sincere at all." "The government officials providing services to the public do not have a sound idea about gender, that's why females face more harassment," said Dr Pratima who was a former senior researcher of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies also. Action Aid Bangladesh Director Asgar Ali conducted the discussion while SRS Executive Director Sikander Ali Mina and Nagar Bastibasi Unnoyon Songstha Secretary Fatema Akter also spoke.

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