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Dowry violence remains at an alarming level, data shows

June 14, 2018 00:00:00

Despite various measures in place to get rid of dowry system and dowry-related violence against women, the county is still experiencing a significant number of dowry related incidents and violence, reports UNB.

Related statistics of recent years show that dowry violence remains at an alarming level.

More concerning is that the number of cases being filed in this regard is far less than the actual incidents where women are at the receiving end of violence.

According to human rights body, Odhikar, as many as 5,699 women faced dowry-related violence from 2001 to 2017 and the rate of homicides and suicides owing to dowry incidents has been high too.

Odhikar stated that at least 256 women faced dowry related violence and 129 women were killed or committed suicide in 2017.

After years of anti-dowry campaigns and related law reforms, the number of dowry violence incidents continues to increase on year-on-year basis.

To replace the 1980 law government enacted Dowry Prohibition Act-2017 but, the number of cases filed is still low when compared against the number of violent incidents.

According to Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), 188 dowry related cases were filed last year as against 303 reported incidence of dowry violence.

Though the country achieved significant development in women education and empowerment, the dowry violence is far from dying down, data suggests.

The Dowry Prohibition Act-2017 has provision of 14 years' rigorous imprisonment with fines for any individual or individuals who provoke any girl to commit suicide over dowry.

It has a provision for a life-term of 12 years for hurting a woman over dowry.

But data suggests all victims are not reaching the court of laws for getting the recourse.

Rights activist advocate Sultana Kamal told the news agency that these incidents are a manifestation of women's status and position in the society because here the women are perceived as a liability and many don't respect them equally.

She said, "There is a tendency of underestimating the girls and most of the family made the girls to believe that they are less important in the society which brings their misfortune in every step of life".

Sultana Kamal also mentioned that the women do not have property ownership and many of them have to depend on males of the society for economic and safety issues.

These dependencies make them passive and subject to insults and tortures, she said.

Advocate Sultana Kamal said, "There have several acts for eliminating violence against women and prohibiting dowry but the dowry system still exits, because it is culturally established in Bangladesh".

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